INDIANAPOLIS — According to the nation's report card test scores are down across the country, including here in Indiana. It's a trend the State Department of Education was already tracking.
"We conducted analysis in 2021 right out of the pandemic that gave us some initial insight,” Charity Flores, the Chief Academic Officer at the Indiana Department of Education said. “So, we have had two cycles of that analysis underway and this data really re-affirms some of those trends we've been observing. “
According to data from the national report card, Indiana landed somewhere in the middle when it came to testing scores, but they were still down compared to years past.
This year 33% of Indiana fourth graders and 31% of eighth graders scored at or above proficiency in reading. In math, 40% of Indiana fourth graders and 30% of eight graders scored at or above the standard.
The state says it is addressing the issue by funding $111 million worth of learning loss programming.
"We have implemented science and reading professional development we have placed instructional coaches specifically in schools that are of the highest need of support, " Flores said.
Parents I talked to say they noticed their kids struggling during the pandemic.
"With the masks — that just took out the social development for my kids,” Jen Larson, whose kids attend Zionsville schools said. “That's such an important time in their lives when they are this young mine are now in 5th and 6th grade so this happened when they were 2nd and 3rd I mean that is such an important developmental stage.”
"A lot of time energy and effort focused on trying to get them to get back to baseline,” Joe Molinaro a Zionsville parent said. “Understanding how to study, understanding how to focus and hold yourself accountable and then lastly school is important it's important to give the effort it’s important to do well."
They also shared their thoughts on the investment meant to fight learning loss.
"As long as it's going to the teachers and to the students and that money isn't going to administrative and extra little extraneous administrative positions,” Brittany Shaver a Zionsville parent said. “As long as it's going to the front lines and to the students, I think that would be money extremely well spent."
A big portion of the money dedicated to learning loss is dedicated to removing barriers for students who may need extra tutoring. Parents we talked with hope the candidates elected to the school board will also take steps to help combat the problem.
For more information about the investment in learning loss click here.
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