New Testing Data Reveals Long-Lasting Effects of COVID-19 on Oregon Student Performance.
The latest release of annual statewide assessment results by the Oregon Department of Education paints a concerning picture of the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students' academic achievements. Despite a surge in federal funding, academic performance has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, as the 2022-23 school year results indicate.
In this most recent data, reflecting the 2022-23 academic year, only 43% of Oregon students demonstrated proficiency in English language arts, with approximately 31% proficient in math and 29% in science. These figures represent a marginal 0.6 percentage point decline in English, a slight 0.2 percentage point increase in math, and a minor 0.1 percentage point improvement in science when compared to the 2021-22 results.
Contrasting these figures with the pre-pandemic era of 2019, where 53.4% of students were proficient in English, 39.4% in math, and 36.9% in science, it becomes evident that an additional 10% of students are now falling short of proficiency standards in both English and math.
It is worth noting that the 2023 participation rates, although still below the federally mandated 95%, have seen improvement compared to 2022, with most grade levels showing participation rates ranging from 87% to 94% in each subject assessment. However, ODE officials acknowledge that these numbers may still be skewed due to the lower overall participation rate in 2023, except for high school assessments.
In an interview Wednesday, Dr. Charlene Williams, interim superintendent of the Oregon Department of Education, called the results "generally positive."
"We do see that these results are stabilizing," she said. "I think we have some positive trends that are indicating we're pointing in the right direction."
Williams expressed optimism that recent legislative efforts, including the 2023 Oregon Legislature's historic allocation of $10.2 billion for public schools over the next two years, accompanied by a series of education bills prioritizing early literacy, special education, and teacher support, would lead to notable improvements in student outcomes.
The student assessment data is available at oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment.