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Oklahoma State Department of Education releases statewide testing scores

The Oklahoma State Department of Education recently released statewide testing data from the spring of 2021. They advised caution on how to interpret the results as COVID-19 caused major disruptions in learning during the last school year.

Broken Arrow Public Schools scores were measured in grades 3-8 and 11, focusing on three major areas: English language arts, math and science. Science was only scored in grades 5, 8 and 11. All these score percentages can be found HERE.

Results from the Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) provide the first statewide measure of student performance during the pandemic. Students in Grades 3-8 take assessments in math and English language arts (ELA) and students in Grades 5 and 8 take assessments in science. Students in Grade 11 take a state-developed science assessment as well as the ACT or SAT to fulfill high school testing requirements.

An individual student’s score is indicative of where they are relative to the end-of-year grade-level expectations. In 2019, the last time students took spring assessments, 31.9% overall were proficient in math, compared to 22.1% in 2021. There was a nine-percentage-point drop in proficiency in ELA, declining from 33.4% in 2019 to 24.8% in 2021. In 2019, 34.5% of students tested proficient in science compared to 29.7% in 2021. 

Statewide participation rates for the OSTP are federally required to be at 95% or above, but a federal waiver for spring 2021 did not require that rate. Oklahoma’s statewide participation rate was 92% in math, 92% in ELA and 91% in science. Because that falls under 95%, the OSDE cannot be confident that the students tested are representative of the full population of students. Consequently, the data requires additional analyses to support comparison to prior years.

Due to pandemic-related concerns, spring 2020 assessments were waived by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, state and federal report card requirements were waived for the 2020 and 2021 school years. Therefore, this year’s assessment results will not be used for school report cards.

Participation rates, enrollment trends and performance data for the 2021 spring assessment for each district will be available soon on the Oklahoma Data Matrix at oklaschools.com.

FAQ’s about Broken Arrow’s Testing:

What percentage of students were able to participate in the assessments this past year?

The only site that fell under the 95% threshold was Centennial Middle School.  All virtual middle school students were in their data and their participation rate was 92%.  As a district, we tested 98% of our students.

How does that compare to the students who had access to instruction in previous years?

Our sites have traditionally met the 95% threshold.

How did students access grade-level learning this past year? (online, hybrid, face-to-face, etc.)

We provided full time in-person learning, blended learning opportunities, full time virtual learning and distance learning by needs.

How did students’ access to grade-level learning this past year compare to previous years? Typical classroom instruction? Additional services?

Every day of the 2020-21 school year was unpredictable. Broken Arrow Public Schools provided in-person learning most of the year, but students, teachers, and staff were quarantined as required, and transitioned to distance learning due to COVID-19. Typical classroom instruction varied depending upon the day, and the health and safety needs of the classroom. Regardless of whether instruction was provided in-person, or distance learning, our teachers and staff gave 100% to encourage student learning and engagement.  During times when distance learning was extended, small group and individual tutoring was available, as well as virtual learning and resources.

How did students’ learning experiences differ this past year than in previous years?

The learning experiences varied greatly from previous years. More instruction and learning were conducted online as compared to any previous year. More time was spent on cleaning and safety, and students didn’t get the same opportunities to interact face to face with other students, large group activities were limited, and field trips were minimal. Hands-on learning experiences looked different due to COVID-19 cleaning protocols.