RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Students are struggling to learn math, science, and reading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new report to be presented this week by the North Carolina Board of Education shows students performed worse on annual state testing this fall, compared to the previous year.
The report examines how students performed on two sets of tests.
Those tests are “End of Course” exams in NC math 1, NC math 3, English II and biology taken by high school students, and the “Beginning of Grade 3 Reading Test.”
While the state cautions the findings are not a direct comparison because not all the results are in, most of the results are now computed.
As of February, 86 percent of the students expected to take the “End of Course” exams had and 67 percent of third-grade students expected to take the reading exam had.
The report found in the “End of Course” exams in NC math 1, NC math 3, English II and biology most students were not proficient, and many performed worse than last year.
In the math 1 exam, 66.4 percent of the results were not proficient, compared to 48.2 percent the previous school year.
When it came to the biology exam, 54.5 percent of the results were not proficient, compared to 42.1 percent the previous school year.
In the math 3 exam, 54.9 percent of the results were not proficient, compared to 44.5 percent the previous school year.
However, in the English II exam, 41.1 percent of the results were not proficient compared to 42 percent the year before.
According to the report, 58.2 percent of students scored at the lowest level on the “Beginning of Grade 3 Reading Test “compared to 49.8 the year before.
According to the state Department of Public Instruction, students who score level 3 or higher on the test demonstrate reading proficiency. However, 75 percent scored level 2 or lower.
In a statement, Superintendent Catherine Truitt at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction called the results “disturbing”
“We knew in the abstract that these test results would be disturbing, but it is even more difficult to see them on paper. The math and literacy results speak to a problem that pre-dates COVID, and the pandemic has unfortunately exacerbated this problem,” Truitt said. “However, these results sharpen the department’s resolve, and underscore why literacy will continue to be a statewide priority for us moving forward. We will not allow for this pandemic to be a generational hurdle that impacts students long term.”