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Pandemic interruptions in education impact 'MAP' testing results in Missouri

The largest decrease, nearly ten percent, has been in Algebra “one.”

ST. LOUIS — So how have Missouri school children fared during the pandemic?

Not surprisingly, all the interruptions in education took a toll on Missouri Assessment Program, or “MAP” testing.

Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, officials released results Tuesday, and they say proficiency rates have declined since 2018 and 2019. That is true in elementary more than middle school grades, and true in math more than science or English Language Arts. The largest decrease, nearly ten percent, has been in Algebra “one.”

Missouri Education Commissioner Dr. Margie Vandeven said, “The COVID-19 pandemic continued to present a number of unique challenges for students and families and schools and educators, alike. Teachers and students were absent for extended periods of time due to absence or quarantine.”

In English Language Arts, third grade through high school, the category “all student percent proficient plus advanced” declined from 49 percent in 2018 & 2019 to 45 percent this year.

In math, third grade through high school, the numbers are down from 42 percent to 35 percent.

In science, the numbers are down from 42 percent to 37 percent.

“So blanket comparisons that ignores this long list of variables would be a serious misuse of the data and absolutely not what we’re working to do," Vandeven said

Individual district data will be made available by DESE later in the Fall.

Rockwood is a district that has a plan in place to combat any sign of learning loss.

Rockwood Asst. Superintendent of Learning and Support Services Dr. Shelley Willott said, “So we’re looking at those students individually and we’ve put those new interventions in place, especially in the areas of math, to support those students and we’ll be reaching out to them. Their teachers are working to implement some of those interventions, and we’ll be working to catch them up.”

The state board of education voted in December to waive results for state and federal accountability purposes because of the COVID pandemic.

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