M-STEP scores in Michigan decline amid schooling during pandemic

Educators not surprised by results

Pandemic has negative impact on test scores of students

DETROIT – New test scores from the state show significant learning loss during the pandemic.

Results dropped for every grade tested in math and social studies and for most in reading. Educators were expecting the results and many are not surprised by them.

“Every educator right now knows that there are students who really need quite a bit of support right now,” said Robert McCann of K-12 Alliance.

The results are in and the scores show the pandemic has taken a toll on students. State assessment scores from this spring have dipped compared to 2019.

“The reality is what any given student dealt with over the past year was not a one size fits all issue that a standardized test is ultimately designed to show,” said McCann.

Michigan’s Department of Education saw M-STEP scores decline in English, Math and Social Studies for nearly every grade.

But the K-12 Alliance says during a pandemic standardized tests aren’t a reliable meter of where students are at academically.

“The most important thing to realize about these numbers is that it’s a snapshot of students who were in a completely foreign and never before seen academic environment,” said McCann.

Last year the M-STEP was optional. And the state says students who took the assessments were more likely to be from districts with in-person or hybrid learning and less likely to be students of color, economically disadvantaged students or English learners.

“We won’t know what any given child needs to get back on path towards success until we can start working with them one-on-one in a classroom setting and have the ability to ask them how they are doing what we can do to help them,” said McCann.

Michigan reported 5,020 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 1,673.3 cases over a three-day period.

Of the 26 deaths announced Monday, six were identified during a review of records.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 946,698, including 20,256 deaths. These numbers are up from 941,678 cases and 20,230 deaths, as of Friday.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Aug. 31, 2021

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism