Arkansas students’ ACT Aspire scores down amid pandemic

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FILE – In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As the nation closes out a school year marred by the pandemic, some states are now starting to release new standardized test scores that offer an early glimpse at just how far students have fallen behind — with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of progress across every academic subject. New York, Georgia and some other states pushed to cancel testing for a second year so schools could focus on classroom learning. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education released the preliminary test results from the spring 2021 statewide ACT Aspire test for grades 3 through 10.

According to the ADE, all subject areas showed “expected decreases.”

The largest decrease in test results occurred with math, with 34.6 percent of students in grade 5 meeting math readiness benchmarks compared to 49.17 percent in 2017.

“The results are not surprising and reflect a learning loss that was expected not only here in Arkansas
but around the country,” said Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key. “Because Arkansas schools were open since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, we are confident that additional learning loss was mitigated.”

The department said the declines in readiness in all areas could possibly be attributed to factors such as the chosen instructional method (on-site, remote, hybrid), the number of days required to quarantine, and student engagement.

Full results from the 2021 ACT Aspire test can be found here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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