March 1st didn’t go the way Minneapolis St Paul school officials hoped it would. The Center of the American Experiment, an organization focused on state public policy, released a report about the school districts for the Twin Cities, as well as the rest of the state. Needless to say, it wasn’t the glowing evaluation they were hoping for.
Instead, the report outlined how 19 school districts across the state didn’t have a single student test “proficient” on the 2022 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment. This is a standardized test administered across the state, and they use it to figure out how much information the students are retaining.
Elementary grades didn’t fare any better. In seven Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts there was not a single student who met the grade level expectations in math. Author of the report, Catrin Wigfall said “As of the start of the 2022 school year, fewer than half of Minnesota students statewide are proficient in math (44.6 percent), and just under 50 percent can’t read at grade level. On national assessments, Minnesota reading, and math scores are the lowest they have been in 30 years.”
Of the 19 schools MN-wide, six were traditional public schools, two were online public schools, and 11 were public charter schools. Additionally, one school had no students who were proficient in reading. Wigless already sees where this is heading too.
“Defenders of the current system will likely point to COVID as the driving reason, and while school closures certainly exacerbated learning loss, poor and declining student achievement showed itself way before the pandemic.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers predicted this kind of testing back in October 2022. “The bottom line is everyone suffered in the pandemic…because of the pandemic. The disruption was everywhere, and it was bad regardless of whether schools were remote or in person. We are focused now on the urgent need to help kids recover and thrive.”
These results and her statements are fully supported by the 2022 testing scores. Every state saw its first-ever drop in K-12 test scores. The drop in reading was so significant that scores regressed to 1990 numbers. Erasing 30+ years of continuously keeping even or improving is incredibly devastating to the nation. We cannot afford to be slipping in the ranking like this, especially as nations like China managed to stay climbing during the pandemic that started in their backyard.
Getting back on our feet is something the American people are incredibly capable of. We did it following 9/11, and many students were able to use that loss to push them to succeed. Yet with this pandemic, the trauma was drawn out and the American people have had a much harder time recovering. Especially the kids.
The liberal policies that have invaded schools under President Biden’s administration are largely to blame for these test scores. Students are directing the way the schools are being run in many ways. With the fear of lawsuits, many schools are afraid to discipline or fail a student. The entitled parents are driving away the good teachers, with many opting to move to private schools or tutoring for wealthy families for much better money and less stress.
If the schools in Minnesota, and especially the Minneapolis/St Paul school districts want to get their grades to go back up, they need to make the hard choices. Instead of pushing kids along so they don’t get hurt feelings or feel discriminated against, they need to stay where they are and catch up with their peers. Pushing them along only keeps them further behind. God knows the “No Child Left Behind” program made the schools push the kids along and that at least fixed the scores.