North Carolina students continue to make gains on COVID losses – math shows highest gains

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – Students in North Carolina in nearly all grades continue to recover ground on classroom time that was lost during the pandemic.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) said that state test results from the 2022-2023 academic year show that students are continuing to improve from the drop experienced during the COVID pandemic when schools were forced to teach virtually.

NCDPI said that while school closures and remote learning resulted in unprecedented declines in end-of-grade and end-of-course test scores for the 2020-21 school year, results for the 2022-23 year show strong gains, especially in math with pandemic losses in some grades cut by more than two thirds.

NCDPI also said that reading scores also improved in all grades, with losses from 2020-21 cut by half, or more, in some grades.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said last year’s accountability results show that schools remain on track to recover from the significant setbacks caused by COVID-19.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact of the pandemic,” Truitt said, “but teachers across North Carolina are working harder than ever to help students recover, and more importantly, advance in their learning. We owe them our gratitude for meeting this challenge to improve outcomes for students”

According to NCDPI, the performance of North Carolina students during the 2022-23 school year is similar to trends in other states that showed gains last year, particularly in math and science, after sharp declines in performance levels in the wake of the pandemic.

Eric Davis, chairman of the State Board of Education, said that North Carolina’s 2022-23 accountability results reflect the hard work and dedication of many educators and students to address the pandemic’s persistent effects on student learning.

“There is clear evidence of the efforts of educators, students, and parents to close the gaps in academic learning created during the pandemic,” Davis said. ” We should recognize those efforts and support those efforts with the resources our students need to succeed.”

NCDPI says that math scores in elementary and middle school grades were up more significantly than reading scores overall. The scores on science exams, given in grades 5 and 8, showed gains from 2021-22 in 5th grade but a decline in 8th grade.

NCDPI also said that the state’s 4-year cohort graduation rate, which is also a factor in determining high school performance grades, was 86.4%, unchanged from 2021-22, and was also largely unchanged from the 86.5% rate in 2018-19.