The Texas Education Agency released results from the spring 2021 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness June 28. Both Keller ISD and Northwest ISD saw a decline in students’ scores across subjects and grade levels when compared with results from spring 2019.

Statewide results show a 15% decline in students performing at or above grade level in math since spring 2019, and reading proficiency declined 4%, according to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath.

For KISD and NISD, students showed a significant decline in math skills. The decline was particularly sharp at the seventh-grade level, which was already the grade level with the highest fail rate in math for both districts in 2019. Student fail rate for seventh-grade math jumped from 23% in spring 2019 to 41% in spring 2021 for KISD, and from 24% to 49% in NISD.

“As a school district, we always track how our students are performing through internal measures as well as with the STAAR assessment,” NISD Superintendent Ryder Warren said in a statement. “We expected there would be an academic slide due to the nature of the pandemic, and our goal now is the same as it has always been: to educate our students and make sure they are where they need to be academically.”

NISD said summer school participation is higher this year than in years past, which will help individual students close learning gaps.

KISD also said in a statement the district had received preliminary results and is processing that data to help make instructional decisions for the 2021-22 school year.

Morath said that comparing STAAR results from 2019 and 2021 can help families and educators make plans to help their students move forward.

“This was not a year like any normal year that our students have had to face, that our teachers have had to face,” Morath said during a June 28 press conference. “And unfortunately, the impact that the broader conditions of the coronavirus have had on schools in Texas ... is significant.”