AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Monday, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released data showing that many students tested in 2021 slipped in their academic proficiency when compared to 2019, the last time the test was given.
Amarillo ISD was no exception in the drop.
David Bishop, AISD’s assistant superintendent of high schools, said the district’s largest decrease was in math across the board.
“We normally don’t have drops. We look for increases every year, instead of a decrease,” said Bishop. “So we were honestly expecting a decrease because of the pandemic in math scores.”
Which matches what the rest of the state is seeing.
“As a result of the learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students not meeting grade level increased from 2019 across all subject areas and grade levels, with English I and English II being the only exceptions.” said the TEA, “As a subject area, mathematics reflects the largest decline in proficiency across all grade levels. Districts with a higher percentage of students learning virtually experienced a greater degree of declines. Districts with the highest percentage of in-person learners largely avoided any learning declines in reading.”
Bishop said it was more of a drop than they expected, but it is something they have a grasp on.
The tests administered in 2021 did give the district insight into where the kids’ gaps will be, which is critical in determining out how to progress forward.
“That’s the thing, especially in math. They’ll progress to a different level of math. If you’re taking an eighth-grade math and then you move to ninth-grade into algebra one, it’s really a different math, but you still need those eighth-grade fundamentals to be able to move forward into algebra one.”
Bishop said they have intervention plans in the works, ready to help catch kids back up when they return to the classroom in the fall.
One of those options is optional Saturday school, as well as expanded summer offerings starting in the summer of 2022.
“The school would be in contact with parents and with students both on the extra time that they would need,” said Bishop. “We understand that there are sometimes a limited number of days that kids can be available, but we’re going to try to make this so it will meet everyone’s needs, whether it’s an after school type intervention, or a summer type intervention, or we have some response to intervention during the school day even, to help kids get caught up.”
Bishop said the pandemic affected all students, not just some.
“We will have time for them, for any student that needs it to get caught up. Not just those that have a large learning gap, but those that need extra time for AP, for dual credit; we’ll have that available as well,” said Bishop.
To see AISD’s scores as a district and by campus, click here.