For Immediate Release
Contact: Lindsey Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org
Montpelier, Vt. - The Agency of Education announced preliminary state-level results from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Program and the Vermont Science Assessment. Overall, the results show that the COVID-19 pandemic likely continues to impact student learning.
The Smarter Balanced assessments are administered annually in the spring to students in grades three through nine, measuring student’s mastery of Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math. The Vermont Science Assessment, assessing student proficiency under the Next Generation Science Standards, is given to students in grades five, eight, and eleven. Vermont schools are required by the federal government to administer these assessments to Vermont students and the Agency of Education is required by law to report these results.
“Our 2022 Smarter Balanced and Vermont Science Assessment results show how the long shadow of COVID-19 continues to lie on Vermont’s education system,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “The results are just one more data point reinforcing the continued importance of our Education Recovery efforts across the state."
These results are considered preliminary, as the agency still awaits finalized enrollment data from districts. Slight changes (less than .5%) may occur between preliminary and final results.
While, the 2022 administration of the assessments was far smoother than the 2021 administration, there were pandemic-related challenges, such as educator shortages leading to insufficient resources to properly administer the assessments and the need to balance academic assessment with critical activities related to students’ social emotional well-being. These issues may have impacted student performance or test participation, which makes comparing 2022 data to previous years far more difficult.
“Results indicate that participation rates for 2022 are lower than they have been in years prior to the pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey. “While this makes meaningful comparison to prior years difficult, this lower participation and the results themselves highlight the critical Education Recovery work needed ahead of us.”
Prior Year Results
The 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment and Vermont Science Assessment were administered in Spring of 2021 under extraordinary pandemic conditions. The challenges in administering these federally required assessments during the 2020-21 school year, coupled with lower and uneven participation rates potentially caused by remote and hybrid learning mean that Vermont’s 2021 Smarter Balanced and Vermont Science Assessment scores cannot be compared to prior year performance. The AOE suggests not comparing these results to future years either, as the atypical administration conditions, combined with variable opportunity to learn and disproportionate participation across student populations (e.g., significantly fewer students on IEPs participated in state assessments in 2021) remain significantly different from any other year.
For more information about the 2021 results release, please reference the press release. For a breakdown of scores by assessment and grade level, see the 2021 Smarter Balanced and Vermont Science Assessment Fact Sheet.
About the Smarter Balanced Assessment
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Program is administered annually in the spring to students in grades three through nine. These assessments are designed to measure students’ mastery of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.
The English Language Arts section of the assessment program includes sections on Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, and Research/Inquiry. The results from each section are combined to form a broad English Language Arts score. The Mathematics assessment includes tasks and questions that address Communicating Reasoning, Problem Solving and Modeling/Data Analysis, and Concepts and Procedures. Both assessments report scale scores and proficiency percentage scores for all students and scale scores for student groups.
About the Vermont Science Assessment
The Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA) is designed to measure students’ mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), adopted by Vermont in 2013 as a foundation for science instruction.
Based on the Framework for K-12 Education, the NGSS refocuses K-12 science education to improve readiness for college and STEM careers as well as preparing students to become informed, knowledgeable citizens. The NGSS focus on helping students use scientific inquiry, interdisciplinary thinking and science content to make sense of their natural and designed world. The VTSA is designed to help parents and educators determine if students are on target to achieve proficiency in the NGSS.
About the Vermont Agency of Education
The Agency of Education implements state and federal laws, policies, and regulations to ensure all Vermont learners have equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities. The Agency accomplishes this mission through the provision of its leadership, support, and oversight of Vermont’s public education system.
Connect with the Vermont Agency of Education education.vermont.gov.