Wyoming student state testing results show drop in all content areas amid pandemic - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming student state testing results show drop in all content areas amid pandemic

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CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Education released 2020-2021 Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP) and Wyoming Alternate Assessment (WY-ALT) results on Tuesday.

Proficiency rates for English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science dropped at all grade levels compared with the 2019-2020 scores, with one exception in grade 9 math.

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(Wyoming Department of Edcuation)

While the percent of students who were at least proficient on the WY-TOPP and WY-ALT was down compared with 2019-2020, the WDE described the 2020-2021 results as “consistent with the first administration” of the testing that occurred during the 2017-2018 school year. Results from that year “set the baseline for performance expectation.”

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While the WDE said the 2020-2021 scores were consistent with results from the first year of testing, results were down in Mathematics and Science and up slightly in English Language Arts:

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(WDE)

Natrona County School District proficiency rates in 2020-2021 lagged behind the state overall in grade 3-8 English Language Arts assessments. More Grade 9 and 10 NCSD students achieve at least proficient results than the percentage across the state, as shown in the following table:

In Mathematics, NCSD students had a lower proficiency rate than students across the state at grades 3-7 and grade 9, as shown in this table:

Science proficiency rates for NCSD students were below the statewide rate at grades 4, 8 and 10, the three levels where such assessments are administered:

96.46% of students required to take the testing were able to do so in the spring of 2021, according to the WDE. Superintendent Jillian Balow said in the WDE’s Tuesday press release that she is encouraged by the participation rate.

“State assessment data represent the hard work taking place in every classroom in Wyoming,” Balow said. “That was hard to accomplish in states that did not have in-person school.”

The WY-TOPP assessments are administered online. Students in grades 3-10 took assessments for math and English Language Arts. Students in grades 4, 8 and 10 also take science assessments. Students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 take writing assessments, according to the WDE.

“WY-TOPP gives us useful data on where we were statewide last spring, but the most important assessment information is still what teachers gather in their classroom,” Balow said. “Together, this information will help us make sure we move all students forward from the educational disruption caused by the pandemic.”

The WY-TOPP and WY-ALT data is available online.

The WDE notes that changes in enrollment numbers are areas where participation was low limits the ability for the results to be meaningfully compared among some student groups.

“Unlike other years, these assessment results will not be used for accountability purposes,” the WDE says. “Wyoming received a waiver from federal accountability requirements and the State Board of Education approved exceptions from the state accountability requirements, meaning no accountability determinations will be made for the 2020-21 school year.”