HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The State Department of Education released test results from the pandemic school year and it’s mostly a failing grade. While some experts argue it’s more accurate to give students an incomplete, there’s no debate that Coronavirus has taken a toll on the academic health of our kids.

The numbers are in and the numbers aren’t good. Student assessment dropped across the board across Pennsylvania.

“Unfortunately, I think the test results we’re seeing come out kind of really placed our fears on paper and we realized that there is a gap there now because of that learning loss,” Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R) said.

“We’re all concerned. We’re all concerned about the academics and instruction of our students,” Deputy Secretary of Education, Sherri Smith said.

But state education officials insist nobody should read too much into these scores. Student participation dropped 30% statewide during a pandemic-plagued school year, skewing the numbers widely from district to district.

“COVID didn’t play fair across the commonwealth with schools,” Smith said. “We don’t need standardized test results to tell us that students have struggled over the past two years. The 2021 tests were administered during a global pandemic that disrupted public education and dramatically changed the way students learned,” Pa. Teacher’s Union President, Rich Askey said.

Speaker Cutler wants to see dramatic changes in the classroom. He wants each district to figure out where its learning gaps are and come up with a targeted plan to close them.

“The solution can’t just be let’s throw more money at it because this test confirmed that the current system in its current application is not working the way it should,” Cutler said.

Cutler also said solutions may include longer class days, summer school, or outside tutoring. Smith says curriculum tweaks are also in play.

“Do we need to integrate some skills that students may have missed in the years previously? So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare for next year and make sure we overcome those gaps,” Smith said.

Officials say a better measure will be next year because this spring, students will have been in school and more of them will actually take the tests.