Student proficiency in math and English declined during the 2020-2021 school year, according to new data from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

The data provides some insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected student learning. 

Students in grade three through eight and grade 10 or 11 are assessed annually through the North Dakota State Assessment in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. 

Students are ranked novice, partially proficient, proficient or advanced by the assessment. 

Statewide achievement in English for 2019 and 2021 was: 

• 2019 novice: 26 percent

• 2021 novice: 31 percent

• Novice increase of five percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 26 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 26 percent

• Partially proficient unchanged

• 2019 proficient: 33 percent

• 2021 proficient: 30 percent

• Proficient decrease of three percent

• 2019 advanced: 14 percent

• 2021 advanced: 12 percent

• Advanced decrease of five percent

Statewide achievement in math for 2019 and 2021 was:

• 2019 novice: 24 percent

• 2021 novice: 28 percent

• Novice increase of four percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 32 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 34 percent

• Partially proficient increase of two percent

• 2019 proficient: 34 percent

• 2021 proficient: 29 percent

• Proficient decrease of five percent

• 2019 advanced: 11 percent

• 2021 advanced: 9 percent

• Advanced decrease of two percent

In both math and English, lower levels of proficiency have increased while higher levels of proficiency have declined. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler spoke to the state Legislature’s Education Funding Committee about the department’s findings Thursday, Oct. 7.

“Again, a hypothesis, but it seems that the differing factor, the test is the same, the teachers are the same, the curriculum is the same, the instruction is the same the significant different factor is a pandemic. People’s lives have been disrupted and there’s chaos in our world right now. When there’s chaos, learning isn’t as easily accomplished,” Baesler said about the data. 

She said multiple education recovery efforts are underway such as increased funding for summer school, virtual instruction programs and tutoring. 

“Just as the pandemic and its impact on education are unprecedented, so will have to be our recovery,” Baesler said. 

Data for Wyndmere, Lidgerwood and Hankinson public school districts comparing 2019 and 2021 achievement are listed below. Fairmount Public School District has no data available from 2019 and thus, achievement prior to and during the pandemic cannot be compared.

Wyndmere Public School District English achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

• 2019 novice: 5-9 percent

• 2021 novice: 15-19 percent

• Novice increase of 6-10 percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 25-29 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 30-34 percent

• Partially proficient increase of 1-9 percent

• 2019 proficient: 40-44 percent

• 2021 proficient: 35-39 percent

• Proficient decrease of 1-9 percent

• 2019 advanced: 20-24 percent

• 2021 advanced: 15-19 percent

• Advanced decrease of 1-9 percent

 

Wyndmere Public School District math achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

• 2019 novice: 5-9 percent

• 2021 novice: 5-9 percent

• Novice unchanged

• 2019 partially proficient: 30-34 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 30-34 percent

• Partially proficient unchanged

• 2019 proficient: 45-49 percent

• 2021 proficient: 45-49 percent

• Proficient unchanged

• 2019 advanced: 10-14 percent

• 2021 advanced: 10-14 percent

• Advanced unchanged

 

Summary: Wyndmere Public School District had similar trends in English proficiency when compared to the state. Novice and partially proficient achievement levels increased while proficient and advanced decreased between 2019 and 2021.

In math, however, Wyndmere Public School District’s achievement levels were unchanged.

 

Lidgerwood Public School District English achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

• 2019 novice: 30-34 percent

• 2021 novice: 35-39 percent

• Novice increase of 1-9 percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 25-29 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 25-29 percent

• Partially proficient unchanged 

• 2019 proficient: 30-34 percent

• 2021 proficient: 20-24 percent

• Proficient decrease of 6-14 percent

• 2019 advanced: 10-14 percent

• 2021 advanced: 10-14 percent

• Advanced unchanged

Lidgerwood Public School District math achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

• 2019 novice: 20-24 percent

• 2021 novice: 25-29 percent

• Novice increase of 1-9 percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 35-39 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 35-39 percent

• Partially proficient unchanged

• 2019 proficient: 30-34 percent

• 2021 proficient: 30-34 percent

• Proficient unchanged

• 2019 advanced: 5-9 percent

• 2021 advanced: 5-9 percent

• Advanced unchanged

Summary: Lidgerwood Public School District saw an increase in novice English achievement and a decrease in proficient achievement between 2019 and 2021. Advanced and partially proficient achievements were unchanged.

Math achievement had an increase in novice achievement, but the remaining achievement levels were unchanged.

Hankinson Public School District English achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

• 2019 novice: 25-29 percent

• 2021 novice: 20-24 percent

• Novice decrease of 1-9 percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 30-34 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 25-29 percent

• Partially proficient decrease of 1-9 percent

• 2019 proficient: 25-29 percent

• 2021 proficient: 40-44 percent

• Proficient increase of 11-19 percent

• 2019 advanced: 10-14 percent

• 2021 advanced: 5-9 percent

• Advanced decrease of 1-9 percent

Hankinson Public School District math achievement in 2019 and 2021: 

•2019 novice: 15-19 percent

• 2021 novice: 10-14 percent

• Novice decrease of 1-9 percent

• 2019 partially proficient: 30-34 percent

• 2021 partially proficient: 35-39 percent

• Partially proficient increase of 1-9 percent

• 2019 proficient: 35-39 percent

• 2021 proficient: 40-44 percent

• Proficient increase of 1-9 percent

• 2019 advanced: 10-14 percent

• 2021 advanced: 10-14 percent

• Advanced unchanged

Summary: Hankinson Public School District somewhat bucked the state trend in English achievement. Both novice and partially proficient English achievement decreased between 2019 and 2021. 

Advanced achievement in English did decrease, but proficient achievement increased. 

In math, novice achievement decreased. Partially proficient achievement increased as did proficient achievement. 

All data in the box tables is available at: https://insights.nd.gov/Education/MapSearch.

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