The latest MCAS were a mixed bag, with slight improvements in math and science but a decline in English language arts (ELA) skills, according to data released by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Thursday.
This is the second release of results since the pandemic shut down schools and upended routines in 2020. The scores are still lower than they were pre-pandemic, officials said.
In 2022 full tests were given in grades 3-8 and at the high school level, compared to half tests for the younger age group in 2021 and no tests for anyone in 2020.
In math, students in grades 3-8 saw improvements of about six percentage points in 2020 compared to 2021; however the scores from grade 10 were down two points.
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In science, there was a slight increase -- one percentage point - noted in testing in grades 5 and 8. The high school level, which saw its first biology and introductory physics tests in 2021, had no previous data with which to compare.
ELA scores were down five percentage points in grades 3 through 8 and six points in grade 10, which officials say indicates issues in early literacy among students.
"These results show that it may take a few years for students to recover academically from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students need more time learning, whether it is in the form of tutoring, acceleration academies, early literacy, after school programs or summer learning," said Education Secretary James Peyser in a media release.
Millions of dollars in state and federal funding have been committed to improving education outcomes, to help students recover from the disruption of the pandemic and missed classroom time.
MCAS scores are just one benchmark the state is using to assess student and school performance. The state is also tracking other accountability indicators, including graduation and chronic absenteeism rates.