Despite being three years out of the height of COVID-19, academic performance in Connecticut schools is still below pre-pandemic levels, according to new data.

At a recent news conference, the state’s Department of Education released 2022-23 attendance and student assessment data that showed two main highlights: that chronic absenteeism has declined for the first time since the pandemic began but still remains high, and that student test scores have generally flatlined compared to 2021-22 and still remain below pre-pandemic levels.

On average, the state is seeing a decline in English Language Arts and slight improvements in math and science compared to the 2021-22 school year.

The scores remain below pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022-23, the average student performance in English Language Arts was 63.9, a slight decline from 64.2 the previous year. The target score is 75.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” said Irene Parisi, the education department’s chief academic officer, when asked why English scores were beginning to drop. “There’s so many factors that contribute to it. We’re still diving in and looking at that.”

In math and science, scores improved from 58.6 to 59.7 and 61.4 to 61.6 respectively over the last year. Although there was improvement, the numbers still lag behind the 2018-19 school year, when students scored a 67.7 in English, 63.1 in math and 63.8 in science.

The Department of Education increased its focus on funding school mental health professionals through several grants and the continued development of “high impact curricula,” including a masterclass on the Science of Reading.

Read more: CT school performance, attendance scores slow to recover