Delaware Public Media

Delaware sees another year of sluggish student test results

Aug 1, 2019

Delaware Department of Education officials are touting successful individual schools as statewide student assessment scores remain flat.


About 53 percent of students in grades three through eight were proficient in English, a 1 percent drop from last year. The percentage of students proficient in Math, 44 percent, did not change.

But Theresa Bennett with the Delaware Department of Education said several schools have seen scores rise consistently since 2015 - the year students started taking the Smarter Balanced assessments.

“We’re seeing a lot more movement at the school level, district level," she said. "And when we’re talking to the other smarter states, they’re seeing the same thing.”

Bennett points to schools in the Seaford and Lake Forest School Districts. Students at Seaford’s Frederick Douglass Elementary made gains in English while students at some Lake Forest elementary schools made strides in Math. She also points to Etta Wilson Elementary School in the Christina School District as another example. English and Math proficiency there are both up more than 20 percent since 2015.

“Once it starts happening more systematically across our schools, then we’ll start seeing, you know, the numbers start changing more at the district level and then we’ll start that shift happening at the state level,” she said.

Improvement can be seen among English Language Learners. Their English Language assessments scores have increased 13 percentage points over the past five years. And their Math scores are up 12 percentage points.

Bennett says the results of the new tests for science and social studies will be released around January.

Less than half of high school juniors taking the college placement SAT were proficient in the English, Math or Essay portion.

Scores for cognitively disabled students taking the alternative smarter test dropped.