SOL Scores Flat This Year

Student achievement in Standard of Learning (SOL) test scores tread water in the 2016-2017 school year compared to the previous year, according to new data by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Slight gains in English writing were offset by a slight slippage in math and science.

“Students continue to perform at substantially higher levels on the commonwealth’s rigorous assessments in mathematics, English and science than when these tests were first introduced in 2012 and 2013,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said in a press release. “This long-term, upward trend is far more important than a snapshot for a single year and reflects the hard work of thousands of teachers, principals and other educators and their dedication to helping students meet high expectations.”

Traditional disparities in academic achievement persist, with Asian out-performing all other racial/ethnic groups, followed by whites, Hispanics and blacks. Among the classifications followed by VDOE, “students with disabilities” fared worst, followed by English learners, and economically disadvantaged.

Update: Here’s John Butcher’s cranky view on the Richmond school system SOLs: “Bedden Blew It.

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9 responses to “SOL Scores Flat This Year”

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    There has been a continuing dialogue about how the US and Virginia would score on academic performance – if we threw out the at-risk , low-income kids…and you could actually do this quite easily in many places like Henrico by just capturing the scores of the schools that are not in low-income neighborhoods.

    You actually can do this quite easily with the VDOE build-a-table

    A couple of years ago the Thomas Fordham Institute had a paper dealing with this: ” Poverty cannot explain America’s mediocre test scores”

    it’s an interesting paper….. worth reading

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    The other thing to KNOW is that in Virginia we spend twice as much money on K-12 than the state requires and it is spent on things not tested by the SOLs – AND apparently not on the things tested by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment ) that ranks us against other countries OR the SOL standards are not as tough as other countries standards in the subjects tested by PISA.

    these scores have a direct relationship to people who have lost their jobs in the US.. we have more than 5 million jobs open that we do not have qualified applicants for.. and those jobs are going to other countries to fill.

    When we try to tighten standards in this country – Common Core or in Virginia the SOLs all heck breaks loose.. There is significant opposition.

  3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    I suggest we descend on Jim’s Headquarters, and administer a heavy dose of pain killers and sedatives to slow his blistering pace of posts.

    Otherwise we will be forced to stay glued to our computer screens, without the chance for reflection, just to keep up. Either that or give me a new metal knee like his, so I can keep him in sight, at least.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Err metal Hip, he’s got now!

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    I once had a guy I highly respected say to me.. “whatever it is you do – do it well”.

    Well.. I have to say I’ve not been as successful as I would have hoped but Jim Bacon is a man who can be proud that what he does , he does very well!

    congrats on the work and the new body gear!


  5. djrippert Avatar

    I certainly hope our state colleges and universities are developing “Asian Privilege Awareness” courses. These are needed to help Asian-American students understand how their success has been primarily due to the vast amount of unfair advantage American society bestows upon those of Asian ancestry. I mean … what else could possibly explain the over-performance of Asian Americans in the SOLs vs everybody else? Hard work? Family-oriented academic focus? Stable family environments? Understanding the relationship between education and success in life?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      not just here DJ – look at those world rankings..

      one thing some folks may not be aware of that I suspect you are –
      I’ve seen stats that say there are over 300 million people in China who are “middle class” by their standard of living.. (not their “dollars”).

      We tend to think of China as full of poor uneducated, manual labor workers but the world rankings and the OECD stats suggest that many – almost as many as our entire population – are highly educated and earn a decent living at higher skill jobs.. selling us things like Drones, TVs, and Iphones… etc…

      It also explains why major companies like McDonalds.. Microsoft, Google , etc have BIG presences in Asia…

      The USA are educational slugs compared to China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, etc.

      one more thing – the 4th largest country on the planet -anyone know what it is?

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Based on what I saw a few weeks ago that Chinese middle class is keeping the French tourist economy going. I need to learn how to post photos on this…anyway based on the crowds the Arc de Triomphe could have been in Bejing rather than Paris one recent morning I walked up there. And the lines for the Asian airlines in CDG airport were mind boggling.

        Children are the same everywhere, with some natural variations in ability. The difference in results is what the parents and society value and expect. Educational achievement is more highly valued, and the focus of more time and treasure, in certain cultures. Here in the country, not so much anymore. One thing I do not know, but would be curious about, is how much those Asian countries spend on the disabled students – whether they get the same, less or more attention as the disabled do in our schools. Physical disability of course has no impact on the test scores, but mental challenges can.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Steve – if a photo is on the web – you can get the url to it and post it and the blog will usually display it… if you have a photo on your own computer/phone/etc – you need to get it on a site like GOOGLE DRive and make it public and the link to it will post but probably not display it.. folks will have to click on it.

          Acbar or others might know more..

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