The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released the 2021 Florida Standards Assessments (FSAs) scores Thursday, which showed a decline in passing scores for students in both English and math.
The 2021 scores are in comparison to the 2019 scores, given the fact that the FSAs were not administered in spring 2020 due to school closures at the beginning of the pandemic.
FSAs for English Language Arts, or ELA, are taken by students in grade levels 3-10, while FSAs for math are taken by students in grade levels 3-8. Math exams for ninth and tenth graders are administered through the End of Course exams known as the EOCs, which cover algebra and geometry. Those scores also showed a decline.
In the FDOE report, 2021 math scores show that 51% of students in grades 3-8 recorded passing scores, compared to 61% in 2019. The 2021 ELA scores show a decrease from 55% in 2019 to 52%.
Like Florida, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released 2021 scores from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) that also showed a decline in English and math. According to the press release, the number of students in grades 3-8 who recorded a passing grade or above dropped from 15% from 2019 to 2021. In English, or “reading,” the TEA reported a 4% average decline in student scores for grades 3-8.
However, the legislatures in Florida and Georgia both pushed for in-person learning throughout the pandemic, and both states reported that students who were able to attend in-person learning performed better than students who attended virtually.
Although data regarding students’ test scores differs from state to state, national data is available through 2021 Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores through the college placement organization Collegeboard. AP exams span across a variety of subjects, and the same exam is administered to high school students across the U.S. under Collegeboard standards.
The percentage of high school students who received a passing grade or higher on the AP English Literature and Composition exam declined from 50% in 2019 to 44% in 2021, while scores for the AP English Language and Composition actually rose from 54% to 57%.
While only one AP English exam saw a decline in passing scores, every AP math exam saw a decline. For the AP Calculus AB exam, the percentage of high school students who received a passing grade or higher declined from 59% in 2019 to 51% in 2021. For AP Calculus BC, the percentage of high school students who received a passing grade or higher declined from 81% in 2019 to 75% in 2021. The smallest decline comes from the AP Statistics exam, where passing scores declined from 60% in 2019 to 58% in 2021.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]