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Early ILEARN results show predicted drop in scores, educators blame pandemic

Parents can help by adding small educational opportunities into summer break, such as reading with your child for 20 minutes each day.

INDIANAPOLIS — Preliminary results are in for statewide ILEARN testing, and the numbers show a small drop in English/Language Arts scores and "a more signifiant decline" in math, according to Indiana Education Secretary Dr. Katie Jenner.

In her weekly email update to educators, Jenner said the results were "expected and now confirmed," considering the educational disruptions caused by the pandemic.

"With the implications of the pandemic spanning two academic years, we cannot expect to recover in one summer or even one year alone. In fact, it's likely going to take a long-term approach over the next several years," Jenner said. "Now is the time to analyze, plan, and execute."

"A lot of students are behind. A lot of students have been struggling," said Jennifer Brinker, Greenwood Middle School assistant principal. "(But) it's important for parents not to panic. It just means that we're going to have to be creative. We're going to have to offer more services than ever before."

"We know that the pandemic had widespread implications on schools and corporations across our state, and in order to move forward, we’ll need to narrow our focus to the individual student level," Jenner said.

Credit: WTHR

Brinker said parents also play a pivotal role.

"You don't want to take up their entire summer with tutoring and things like that, but you might want to weave some education into your summer time."

Even reading for 20 minutes a day, she says, can help.

"Don't just shut that off for the next couple months but use that opportunity," Brinker said.

She added that parents should never rely on one set of test results to gauge their child's educational progress. Instead, consider other standardized test scores along with overall grades, and talk with their teacher.

Statewide, Jenner said the Department of Education saw 97 percent participation in both the English/Language Arts and Math sections.

Results will officially be finalized in July.

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