OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The pandemic’s effects on students’ studies continue to come to light. A national report card released Monday shows lags in learning not just nationwide, but also right here in Oklahoma.

“This is anticipated, time to go to work,” said Dr. Jamie Polk, Assistant Superintendent with Oklahoma City Public Schools for Pre-K through 4th grade.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, report assesses math and reading progress in 4th and 8th grade students. The report was released Monday and comes out every two years.

“Across the nation, the scores are down,” Polk said. “Please note that was in anticipation because different mitigating circumstances.”

Results from January to March of 2022 showed an eight-point drop in 4th grade reading and seven point in 8th grade reading in Oklahoma. The nationwide average decline in both grades in that subject was three points.

In math, Oklahoma 4th graders saw an eight-point drop and 8th graders saw a 13-point drop. Nationally, 4th graders dropped by an average of five points and 8th graders by eight points.

“What are our next steps? We don’t just stay there,” Polk said.

Polk said progress is being made, however.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister also released a statement:

“This year’s NAEP results are deeply troubling and in line with what we saw with our recent state assessments. The scores are evidence that students suffered significant disruptions to educational achievement as a result of the pandemic. A full recovery will take considerable time and resources, but Oklahoma students are already turning a corner. We have invested in a number of programs to help students recover from learning loss and we are counting on the state Legislature to support additional investments promoting high-quality instruction, academic recovery and student mental health in the next session and in the years to come.”

State Supt. Joy Hofmeister

“Great to compare against the nation, great to compare against the state,” Polk said. “But the day we start comparing the child against themselves is the day we made a difference.”

Full results of the report can be found here.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education also mentioned different programs in a press release that work to change this issue:

“In May 2021, the OSDE launched Ready Together Oklahoma: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond, the state’s COVID-19 educational recovery plan. Overall, the OSDE has invested $232 million in federal pandemic relief from three tranches of funding in a host of initiatives to help students recapture unfinished learning, including $18 million specifically to bolster reading and math.

$13 million for Science of Reading Academies to provide up to 10,000 pre-K through 3rd-grade teachers with sustained, job-embedded professional learning to improve student literacy.

$5 million to the Math Tutoring Corps, which offers intensive, high-dosage tutoring for up to 3,500 seventh- through ninth-grade students to reinforce the problem-solving and math skills they are studying in class and prepare them for higher-level coursework.

The OSDE has also made two new programs available statewide aimed at bolstering reading and math at no cost to schools and districts: Imagine Language & Literacy and Imagine Math.

Imagine Language & Literacy is an adaptive learning program that accelerates reading and language proficiency for students from Pre-K through sixth grade. It is designed to supplement core literacy instruction in all domains of literacy (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and is aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Imagine Math is a comprehensive, supplemental, skills-based online math program for students from Pre-K through eighth grade. The platform works with the classroom teacher to tailor online instruction to the needs of individual students. Imagine Math is fully aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics, including authentic assessments, adaptive learning pathways, embedded scaffolds and actionable data.”

Oklahoma State Department of Education