State of Alabama releases ACAP literacy scores for 2022-2023

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 4:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2023 at 12:11 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We see the impact of the pandemic on our children’s ability to read.

The state has released 2022-2023 ACAP scores for individual schools, including a test to show the impact the literacy act could have on this upcoming school year.

The state department says across Alabama, more than 12,000 third graders were not reading on grade level.

The same thing for more than 11,000 second graders who will be going into third grade. The state doesn’t normally test second graders but did so to see the potential impact of the literacy act.

Keep in mind, these second and third graders were in kindergarten and first grade during the pandemic and we likely in remote learning.

The state estimates 5,000 students could be held back, that’s taking into consideration students with IEP for special needs and other reasons related to unforeseen disruptions in a child’s life that could affect their performance.

For the first time, the state released the numbers to show you how individual schools performed.

In Birmingham City, 14 schools had 50% or more of second and third graders reading below grade level.

In Tuscaloosa City – six schools had 50% or more of second and third graders reading below grade level.

Dr. Mike Daria, Superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, says “We know what we have to focus on. We know what we have to do to improve - we have a plan in place. We have the right people to really home in on those essential core areas so that our students see that growth at the end of the year.”

The new year begins for Tuscaloosa City students on August 9.

Birmingham City Schools will welcome students back on August 7.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan is stressing the importance for parents to have students in school on day one and to be aware of new state laws going into effect including the literacy act.

“We really want our parents to understand the numeracy act is coming, said Dr. Mike Sullivan. “The literacy act is here, so for those kids who are in third grade this year they will be held if they are not reading on grade level held back.” He goes on to say he doesn’t want any students in Birmingham City Schools held back because of the literacy act.

Alabama’s Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey gives us more perspective. “It’s not just elementary students struggling and not just reading,” Mackey says. “For the most part, schools across the state saw progress, but middle school students were lagging well behind especially in math.

Dr. Mackey went on to say, “Grades three four and five were really important in mathematics development and that’s where they were during the pandemic years and now, they are in 7th and 8th grade and they are struggling because of skills they may not have mastered during 4th grade.”

Dr. Mackey says while much of the focus for math and reading coaches centers on elementary grades, the state is working to help make sure middle school math teachers have the resources to fill in the gaps of learning for students.

The ACAP shows challenges all over the state.

School leaders believe literacy camps over the summer will help improve the numbers of third graders who will have to repeat their grade. You can play a big role. School leaders are urging all of us to emphasize reading at home.

Dr. Mackey says there are also resources available on the state’s website to help parents assist their children in reading.

Click here for more information.

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