Overall proficiency among Tulsa Public Schools third-grade students declined slightly during the first semester of 2019-20, while attendance and chronic-absenteeism rates improved.
The TPS fall/winter 2019 report, which examines TPS’ own testing scores, shows 25% of third-graders were deemed proficient in reading and math through Dec. 13. The district’s goal for this year is 28%.
Comparatively, 26% were proficient in both subjects at the end of 2018-19, falling below the 27% goal for that school year, the report said.
Deputy Superintendent Paula Shannon said during the most recent school board meeting that the proficiency decline demonstrates the impact of summer learning loss. While 33% of third-grade students ended the year proficient in math, only 30% returned from summer break proficient.
“That dip in proficiency even accounts for national summer learning trends, meaning our students lost more in mathematics over the summer than other kids across the nation taking the measures of academic progress,” Shannon said.
“That’s concerning. And that’s not about our teachers not doing a great job. That’s about the impact of what happens for particularly economically disadvantaged students who are not having access to opportunities to continue to learn and practice what they’re learning across roughly two-and-a-half months when they’re not at school.”
At 33%, third-grade reading proficiency saw no change from last year and remains well below TPS’ goal of 39%.
The district’s overall average daily attendance rate, meanwhile, was 92.2% toward the end of the fall semester and 91.7% at the end of 2018-19, according to the report. This year’s goal is 91.9%.
The chronic-absenteeism rate — referring to students who missed at least 10% of school days — improved from 28.8% last year to 26% so far this year. That goal is 26.8%.
Additionally, the fall suspension rate was 4.1%, compared to 28.8% in 2018-19, the report found. This year’s goal is 6.4%.