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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Indiana Department of Education says English and math scores on the state’s ILEARN standardized exam have dropped in the latest round of testing, which was held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IDOE is set to release ILEARN results during a July 14 state education board meeting, and officials told WDRB News that preliminary results show declines in English and math. School corporations have been able to disseminate results to parents as they receive them, IDOE officials say.

“There's more of a decline in math than our English language arts,” said Lynn Schemel, the agency’s director of assessment.

States administered standardized tests during the 2020-21 school year after the U.S. Department of Education offered to waive the exams the previous year as the COVID-19 pandemic and requisite mitigation efforts forced schools throughout the U.S. to quickly transition to remote learning.

Indiana, like Kentucky, had waiver requests to cancel state tests granted during the 2019-20 school year.

Both states also had federal accountability requirements waived for this year’s round of testing.

“We anticipated that this year's performance may look a little bit different than prior years, but we really want to emphasize that while those results provide a snapshot of where students are, we're quickly pivoting to how to best support students going forward knowing especially that as a result of the last year, every student needs specific support in order to move forward,” IDOE Chief Academic Officer Charity Flores said.

Sally Jensen, director of assessment and student data for New Albany Floyd County Schools, said the school corporation was unsure what to expect from this year’s standardized test results.

“We’ll take the data as it comes, and we’re going to use it to the best of our ability to help each and every child,” Jensen said. “I think that at this point what we're going to focus on is trying to meet every child where they are and accelerate their learning wherever we can.”

"We know some students are going to need some additional time and support, so whether that's within the school day or outside of the school day, we're just going to look for multiple ways to carve out more time and support for our students," she said.

Student participation compared to other states was a bright spot for Indiana’s standardized testing, Schemel said.

“We were very pleased with the work that our educators did bringing in students who were home remotely because all of our tests were administered in-person,” she said.

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