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Oklahoma state testing scores show rebound, but pandemic’s impact remains

Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

Oklahoma students did better on their state tests this spring, but still, fewer than half were proficient or advanced in any single category.

Oklahoma’s State Department of Education released some of the student testing data Friday.

Students assessed in grades 3 through 11 showed an increase in proficiency in 15 out of 17 categories related to language arts, math and science.

Students can score in four different categories: below basic, basic, proficient or advanced on the assessments. Being proficient means students “demonstrate mastery over even the most challenging grade-level content and are ready for the next grade, course or level of education. These students are on track for college or career success.”

Basic implies “partial mastery,” and students who score basic, “may not be on track for college or career success,” according to the state.

Participation was up in spring 2022, 98% of Oklahoma students took the tests versus 92% in spring 2021. Experts say testing rates of 95% and above give the best representation of a state’s performance.

There are a lot of numbers for the State Department of Education to sift through. And officials will use them when schools get letter grades for the first time in three years later this fall.

“In light of more than two school years of COVID-related instructional challenges and interruptions, these results show that local and statewide recovery and academic acceleration investments are clearly having a positive impact,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in a written statement. “These are encouraging results representing the hard work of our teachers, students and families.”

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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