How the Post Pandemic “Normal” is Affecting Student Scores and Performance


Carly Amoriell

This visual depicts the decrease in test scores within the past year.

Charvi Bethu, Writer

As Oakdale High School prepares for its upcoming 2022-2023 school year, many questions regarding the overall change in student performance and test scores have emerged.

After a recent federal study, math and reading scores for high school students all over America decreased by over 9 percent from before the pandemic. Oakdale High School alone saw over a 30 percent decrease in their test scores.

Unfortunately, it is not just the test scores that need observation. An alarm of concern is rising about students and teachers’ attitudes toward the upcoming year. During the virtual learning time period, teachers and students have struggled to navigate their way through meeting due dates and staying on track. Given the circumstances, many school districts decided to ease the difficulty level of assignments. However, this played a negative role when it came time for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.

An English teacher at Oakdale High School, Erin Porter, said, “I think a lot of students lost their stamina. When we were learning online, we cut back on the reading. When you’re doing a test like the SAT or the English tests, students don’t have the stamina anymore.” As an educator herself, she has noticed unexpected changes in students’ attitudes.

Additionally, she agrees that due to the lack of engagement during online learning, standardized tests are no longer a priority for many students.

Like educators, students have similar complaints to express. An Oakdale High School Senior, Senam Dzodzomenyo, says, “Before the pandemic, my grades were fine. I’d say I probably had one C in history. Afterward, I still struggle with school, because it was just hard adjusting.”

Like Dzodzomenyo, many of his peers found it challenging to adapt to the post-pandemic schooling. Even though it has been less than two months into the school year, the number of students barely passing is countless.

Parents are also observing how the pandemic has affected their children. A mother to an Oakdale High School Sophomore noted, “I feel like the fact that this COVID 19 pandemic hit so suddenly has a major part to do with why my son had academic changes, I’ve seen him struggle with tests and assignments and all that stuff, and before nothing school related was too much of an issue.”

Overall, based on the results from federal study and the Oakdale High School 2021-2022 school scores, it is evident the pandemic was detrimental when it came to testing of any sort.