We’re already learning that COVID lockdowns had a massive effect on children, especially in education. Many parents and teachers have questioned the effectiveness of remote learning, and whether it stunted educational growth across the world and here in New York. We now have our first statistical glimpse at whether those theories are correct.

The New York State Education Department has made the raw data from their report card available on their website months early. They have not yet published the fully organized data on their assessment site. From the raw data, we can still find the 2022 proficiency scores for the Capital Region’s four largest school districts.

Here’s How Schools Did

The New York state assessments tested 8th graders on their proficiencies in English Language Arts and Math and awarded the districts a pass/fail percentage. This is the first widescale test since 2019, with 2020’s assessment canceled and 2021’s as being optional to students.

Albany Schools

Photo: Sue MacDonald TSM
Photo: Sue MacDonald TSM

We’ll start with the bad news: only 2% of Albany’s 8th graders passed their math proficiency evaluations. That’s a small drop from pre-COVID days. In 2019, it was 3%. The good news? English scores sharply improved against the average. 24% passed in 2019, but those numbers boosted to 35% in 2022.

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Schenectady Schools

Schenectady Sky

Schenectady’s school district finished last, with some especially grim news – of all the students given the state math assessment, not a single one was deemed proficient. The district had 5% of 8th graders pass the exam in 2019. 18% at English – 20% in 2019, 5% math in 2019

Troy Schools

Monument Square in Troy, NY

Troy’s students had a slight decrease in math, sliding from 22% in 2019 to 20% this year. As if to even out the difference, English scores increased 2%. Troy 8th graders tested at 30% in 2019 and are now at 32%.

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Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs Sign

Saratoga still leads the largest districts in overall proficiency scores, but also had the biggest falloff. In 2019, the district’s 8th graders scored 44% in math; in 2022, only 35% were deemed proficient. They did score a gain in English, with an increase from 57% to 61% over the pandemic.

Overall, New York’s performance mirrors the also-just-released National Report Card, which showed a drop in math scores in almost all 50 states. Reading proficiency also suffered a nationwide drop.

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