Lubbock ISD working to reverse post-COVID drop in student test scores

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A new federal study says math and reading scores for 9-year-old students plummeted during the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Education reports reading scores saw their biggest drop in 30 years, with mathematics showing the first decrease in scores since the department started tracking them.

The National Center for Education Statistics says students in 2022 are performing at a lower level that we have not seen since the 1990s.

Students across the South Plains also saw a decline in scores, but Lubbock ISD says they still fared better than in some districts.

Misty Rieber, Chief Academic Officer at Lubbock ISD, says, “Many times there were younger learners across the nation where people saw gaps, we also saw gaps for middle school students.”

Rieber oversees instruction and curriculum for Lubbock ISD. She says virtual schooling is to blame for these recent gaps, and getting kids back in the classroom was the first step in turning them around.

Rieber says, “It gave us a great opportunity to be face-to-face, to work with our kids in small groups, to really have that intentionality that takes place when you can be in the classroom with your teacher.”

Lubbock ISD students do face a learning gap, but Rieber says the district is working hard to get back on the mark. That includes after-school tutoring for many teachers and students.

“We worked with students in small groups, whether that be interventionists that we hired and brought in, or teachers stayed after school to work and support our kids specifically around reading and math.”

Rieber says the partnership between families and faculty is helping students thrive.

“They were very helpful as we work through that process and I think that is really important, that you have that community connection with your families,” Rieber said.

Overall, according to the Texas Education Agency, Lubbock ISD’s elementary schools received an 85 average score in this year’s accountability rating system. That includes state measurements in a category specifically addressing learning loss.