Decline shows big impact of pandemic on learning

New state data is shedding light on just how far back the COVID-19 pandemic has set Indiana students — and the significant amount of time it will take to get them back on track.  

The results of the spring ILEARN exam show fewer than one-third of elementary and middle school students are on track to graduate high school ready for college or career, according to data released Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Education. Just 28% of students tested passed both the math and English portions of the test — a marked decline from previous years.  

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This past spring was just the second administration of the state’s new standardized test. Last year’s exams were canceled after the pandemic closed schools statewide. There were concerns about students’ readiness after the 2019 ILEARN results were released, but state officials said scores would rebound after students and educators recalibrated to the new test.