Data on how students are faring academically following the pandemic’s unprecedented disruption to their education are rolling in, and the numbers show considerable setbacks.

First, the state Department of Education released its state test data from this spring. Compared to 2019, pre-pandemic, fewer students scored proficient or better. Those rates were down 7% in math and English language arts and 4% in science.

But, compared to 2021, students demonstrated improvement in nearly every grade and subject area. My story has more details and tables for each grade level.

Average ACT scores for the Class of 2022 were also released recently. These students experienced pandemic-related disruptions in their last three years of high school. Oklahoma’s average composite score was 17.9, third lowest in the country (only Mississippi and Nevada scored lower.)

The national average dropped to 19.8, the lowest in three decades, and ACT CEO Janet Goodwin called the called the declines “systemic failures that were exacerbated by the pandemic.” ACT scores range from 1 to 36.

Lastly, there’s a much anticipated dataset that will be released next week: the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card. It’s the only national, comparative yardstick of K-12 student achievement across states. NAEP was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic but was administered earlier this year.

Look for a story on the scores on and my takeaways on Twitter next week.

— Jennifer Palmer

Recommended Reading

  • Tribes call on Oklahoma Legislature to repeal House Bill 1775, law that limits certain conversations on race and gender. “Students deserve to learn accurate history, even the uncomfortable parts,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. [Tulsa World]
  • An analysis by The 74 has found no basis for claims that allowing trans students to compete in sports would drive large numbers of athletes away from girls’ high school and college sports. In reality, the opposite is true. [The 74]
  • Candidate for state superintendent Jena Nelson spoke at a forum in Stroud over the weekend, telling attendees she would encourage respect for educators if elected. Her opponent, Ryan Walters, was invited but did not attend the event, hosted by the Oklahoma Rural Schools Coalition. [Public Radio Tulsa]

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