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Kentucky schools report test score spike; students still perform well below pre-COVID levels

Students in Kentucky showed some improvement on their statewide test scores, especially in elementary schools, but considerable work remains to get back to pre-pandemic levels, state education officials said. The subject has become a top issue in this year’s hotly contested race for governor.

Despite the gains, elementary to high school students in the Bluegrass State are still struggling across a range of core subjects in the wake of schools’ COVID-era shift to virtual learning to try to keep people safe. Those struggles reflect a nationwide problem of lagging academic achievement, prompting extensive efforts in Kentucky and elsewhere to help students overcome the pandemic learning setbacks.

“We see progress in some areas, especially at the elementary school level, but there is still a lot of work left to be done,” said Robin Fields Kinney, the state’s interim education commissioner. “We must not underestimate how much of an impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our children.”

“As a commonwealth, we need to invest in education to increase our pace of improvement so Kentucky learners are on track to compete in a rapidly changing economy,” Blom said in a statement.

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