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Virginia Department of Education releases SOL scores

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Posted at 10:53 AM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 10:53:24-04

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released the results of Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments taken by students during the 2017-2018 school year Wednesday.

“Virginia has challenging standards and assessments, and students are performing at a much higher level today than when the state raised expectations six years ago,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “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”.

2017-2018 SOL Pass Rates by Subject Area

English Reading

Student Group

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

All Students

80

80

79

Asian

91

91

90

Black

66

67

67

Economically Disadvantaged

66

67

66

English Learners

61

64

59

Hispanic

71

71

67

Students with Disabilities

46

47

48

White

86

86

86

English Writing

Student Group

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

All Students

77

79

78

Asian

90

92

91

Black

63

65

64

Economically Disadvantaged

63

64

64

English Learners

47

52

53

Hispanic

70

70

70

Students with Disabilities

40

42

42

White

83

85

84

Mathematics

Student Group

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

All Students

80

79

77

Asian

93

93

92

Black

67

66

64

Economically Disadvantaged

69

68

66

English Learners

66

68

64

Hispanic

72

71

68

Students with Disabilities

49

48

48

White

86

86

84

Science

Student Group

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

All Students

83

82

81

Asian

93

92

92

Black

70

68

67

Economically Disadvantaged

70

69

69

English Learners

57

58

58

Hispanic

72

71

70

Students with Disabilities

53

52

50

White

90

89

89

 

History/Social Science

Student Group

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

All Students

86

86

84

Asian

95

95

95

Black

74

75

73

Economically Disadvantaged

75

75

73

English Learners

69

72

68

Hispanic

80

80

77

Students with Disabilities

60

59

57

White

91

91

90