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Proficiency scores down across the State of Minn.

APS down in math, reading, science

Austin Public Schools saw significant drops in both reading and math proficiencies, mirroring drops across the State of Minnesota attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Education released the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments Friday, showing just how much damage has been done by the pandemic, which forced districts into alternative modes of learning.

Statewide, schools saw a drop from 59.2% in reading in 2019 to 52.5% this year, while in Austin the district was down nearly 10% from 43.6% in 2019 to 34.5% this year.

However, math proficiencies saw an even more dramatic drop both in the state and APS, which saw a 13% drop from 37.1% to 24.3%, while at the state level math scores reflected an 11% drop from 55% to 44%.

Science scores saw a nearly 12% drop from 33.4% to 24.9% in the Austin district, much higher than the state average, which fell from 50.7% to 43.1%.

Testing wasn’t done last year because of the pandemic, but it’s been expected that testing this year would show a dramatic drop.

“The statewide assessment results confirm what we already knew — that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our student’s learning and they need our help to recover,” said Heather Mueller, education commissioner.

The Trump administration let states cancel their spring 2020 tests as the pandemic began to take hold and schools transitioned to distance learning.

This year, Minnesota largely tried to administer its tests as usual, even though some school districts and states got partial waivers from the Biden administration.

About 77% of eligible Minnesota students completed their tests. That’s down from the usual 98%.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.