Are Ohio’s students recovering academically? What the latest state data shows.
TOLEDO, Ohio — By this point, kids across the nation are back in the classroom. But with this being the third school year outside of the pandemic era (2020), it’s more important than ever that we keep tabs on how students are performing, as they’ve been through a lot, which continues to impact them to this day. Many students are still regaining social skills and connection to others, but another department data shows they’re struggling in is academics.
According to the latest statewide report card from the Ohio Department of Education, released in assessment of the 2021–22 school year, proficiency rates on state tests have improved for “all student subgroups at the state level.” But despite that positive, there is a negative: these rates have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.
One of a few areas of concern is reading proficiency. The state reports that 60.1% of third grade students scored proficient or higher on the reading section of the state test, which leaves basic math to tell us that 39.9% of those who took this section of the test scored below proficient. That leaves 3.9 out of every 10 third grade students below the benchmark for success in reading.
And when it comes to mathematics, for all students, pre-pandemic performance was 61%. In the 2021–22 school year, that number sat at 50.5%, up from 2020’s 48.2%.
So while these figures are improving, what else is being done besides catching students up, with the expectation things will return to normal? The answers to that question are ranging, but let’s zero in on Future Forward Ohio, which is the state’s strategic plan for post-pandemic academic recovery.
It encompasses four priorities: literacy, accelerating learning (with an emphasis on reading and numbers), workforce readiness — and an important part of all of this — student wellness. These are to be executed through after-school and summer programming, addressing obstacles to learning like internet access and attendance issues, as well as asking questions that better guide students into a career that suits them during the college/career process.
And that’s not all: additional support has been announced for this year — and for the details on that — visit education.ohio.gov/futureforwardohio.