Lawton Public Schools chime in on NAEP test scores

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Scores are in for the Nation’s Report Card.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has released its 2022 test scores which are given to students across the nation every two years.

The report card looks at the math and reading scores of 4th and 8th graders around the country and while most states saw a decline, Oklahoma’s scores dipped significantly.

The NAEP shows that 4th graders’ scores have declined 8 points in reading and in math and 8th graders’ scores have declined 13 points in math and seven points in reading.

Himes said school districts can appreciate data scores to help improve their curriculum because education is always evolving. He feels these one-day tests should not be able to judge the true ability of students and teachers.

“We shut down education for a day, students take a test and we never see any data from the test. We have no idea what they consider proficient and not proficient, what those cut scores are, what percentage students are getting right or getting correct and what we can do better etc.,” Himes said.

Himes said local data is more effective, and LPS collects its own data.

“Our data shows that we came back up a little bit but it still shows that across the board we have something of what we call a COVID gap, where our students declined a little. And, the toughest thing with that is, it also shows that hit students of poverty more than students of not poverty,” Himes said.

Himes said his goal is to level the playing field between kids who are low-income and kids who are not, to improve overall education in Lawton.

“We know that standardized tests fall in line with poverty, so Oklahoma does not perform well. Because we also know that Oklahoma is one of the highest poverty states; therefore, that’s going to drive our test scores down,” Himes said.

Joe Dorman is the chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. He said low-income families play a major part in a child’s ability to perform in school.

“What comes with poverty, you don’t have the parents at home because the parents maybe are working two jobs just to try to make ends meet. So, those kids don’t have the parents at home helping them do homework,” Dorman said.

Dorman also said the Oklahoma teacher shortage also affects student test scores.

“We have more emergency certified teachers than we ever had in the past. We need those well-trained educators who know how to handle the issues in the classroom going into the field,” Dorman said.

Dorman said schools having free breakfast and lunch programs can also help, so low-income students have one less thing to worry about.