Breaking down standardized test scores for Madison area schools

MADISON, Wis. — Standardized school test results from this past spring are in, and they show the pandemic and lockdowns took a toll.

In this week’s Eye on Education, we’re looking at math results pre-pandemic compared to last spring. The results are from the Forward exam, which tests 3rd through 8th graders and 10th graders.

State testing in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic.

When it comes to math, scores were down for Madison, Middleton/Cross Plains, Sun Prairie and Verona schools, although participation in the testing was also down which hurts the proficiency scores. However, the scores dropped more than the participation rates did.

The state’s Department of Public Instruction wants everyone to consider the circumstances when it comes to the lower scores.

“When we look at these assessment results, we must consider the challenges these students encountered this past school year. these were extraordinary circumstances that caused a lot of instability that impacted individuals and communities in different ways,” Abigail Swetz of the DPI said.

The results certainly don’t paint the entire picture, but it gives us an idea of how the pandemic may have affected learning. The DPI says the results are one factor districts can consider adjusting.