LHS Principal Reacts to ‘Historic Decline’ in State Test Scores

Statewide and nationally student math and English scores saw a sharp decline as the Department of Education just released the Smarter Balanced Test Results for the 2021-2022 school year.

To no surprise, results show students underperforming, during a year when most of the academic year was spent behind a computer from home following the outbreak of the pandemic.

Morgan Nugent Lassen High School Principal and Superintendent says “If anyone was surprised by the results, I would be worried. Where is our sense of reality, we would be fools if we believe our kids should be excelling when their lives have been greatly impacted by the loss of family members from the virus, as well as having to deal with severe mental impacts.”

Nugent says some students were quarantined up to 5 different times and missed 9 to 12 weeks of class time during the 2021-2022 school year.

Lassen High according to the Smarter Balanced Testing showed nearly 43% of students did not meet standards in English while 61% did not meet basic math standards. In other local high schools, Westwood High compared relatively equally in its results.

Nugent went on to say that the test “has no meaning to these kids, and effort is at a minimum, but when it comes to the stuff that does matter, our kids get it done.”

Nugent references the high school’s AP test scores, having a 31% increase in pass rates along with an increase of 20% in students electing to take AP classes. Nugent also says he has seen an increase in graduates heading to 2 and 4-year colleges.

Through the pandemic, Lassen High was among the few schools to keep their doors open.

Across the state, results place Fewer than half of students meeting the state standard in English language arts, with a drop of 4 percentage points from the pre-pandemic academic year 2018-19, when the state last required the test statewide.