“Pass rates are not the only measure of school quality. If we focus solely on annual pass rates, we miss the achievement of students who are making steady progress toward the benchmarks and the efforts of schools to address issues that directly affect learning and achievement. These factors are captured in the new accreditation system, and the ratings we will report next month will provide a more complete picture of where schools are today and where they can be enhanced in the future.” Pass rates on the 2017-2018 SOLs were little changed from the previous year, with students performing as follows: • 79 percent of the students who took reading tests passed, compared with 80 percent during 2016-2017; • 78 percent passed in writing, compared with 79 percent previously; • 77 percent passed in mathematics, compared with 79 percent in 2016-2017; • 81 percent passed SOL tests in science, compared with 82 percent previously; and • 84 percent of students tested in history and social studies passed, compared with 86 percent in 2016-2017. Under the revised Standards of Accreditation approved by the Board of Education in November 2017, school quality indicators for English and mathematics will include the academic growth of students making significant progress toward meeting state benchmarks. Schools will also be evaluated on progress in closing achievement gaps in English and mathematics, raising overall achievement in science and reducing chronic absenteeism. High schools will also be evaluated on their success in raising graduation rates and reducing dropout rates. “An emphasis on overall pass rates can obscure the needs of groups of students who require additional support, both inside the classroom and in the community,” Lane said. “Under the new accreditation standards, schools and school divisions are required to develop and implement plans to address achievement gaps and ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed.” Additional information on the performance of students on SOL tests during 2017-2018 – including pass rates for schools and school divisions – is available on the VDOE website and on the online School Quality Profiles. “As we begin the school year with the flexibility afforded by the revised Standards of Accreditation, I encourage teachers and instructional leaders to focus on creating opportunities for engagement and to give students the opportunity to experience deeper levels of learning, Lane said. “Ultimately, with increased student engagement, test results will reflect this renewed focus on deeper learning”.
The 2017-2018 Standards of Learning (SOL) test results are out (PDF) with a sobering look at the scores from the neighborhood schools. Fairfield Court Elementary: a stellar year in 2017, not so much this year. The data shows precipitous drops in almost all tests, except for Science, VA Studies and English Reading. Chimborazo Elementary: a steady year with some dips in Math and Science. Bellevue Elementary: steady with a big dip in Math and English Reading. Franklin Military Academy continues to do well with a small dip in English writing. Some highs and lows: Franklin Military Academy scored a 100% in Earth Science and 95% in Biology. Armstrong HS scored 8% in Grade-8 English Reading, MLK MS scored 10% in Grade-7 Mathematics and 17% in English: Writing. [sep] The Richmond Times Dispatch wrote an article on the overall Virginia student performance. Scores overall show a dip in each of the five core subjects with the largest drops in Math and History. Take a look at the press release from the Virginia Department of Education below: