A “Catastrophic” Collapse in Virginia Test Scores

Source: Virginia Department of Education

by James A. Bacon

The big news today from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), which administers a common test for all 50 states, is that student test scores nationally saw stunning declines in math and reading over the past two years. The drop in math scores was the biggest decline ever recorded for the national assessment.

The bloodbath was even worse in the Old Dominion. Between 2017 and 2022, Virginia saw the biggest drop in 4th-grade reading scores in the country. Likewise, in 4th-grade math scores, Virginia tied with Maryland for the biggest drop in the country.

That’s the worst decline in the country! This year, Virginia 4th graders, who in 2017 were among the top performers in the country, scored a smidge below the national average. Eighth-grade English and math scores dropped in comparison to other states as well, though not as drastically.

Governor Glenn Youngkin described the learning losses in a press release as “catastrophic.” And he put the blame squarely on his predecessors, Governors Ralph Northam and Terry McAuliffe, although he did not mention them by name. “When my predecessors lowered educational standards, those lowered expectations were met…. These actions were compounded by keeping children out of school for extended and unnecessary periods.”

Virginia’s other top educators drove home the same message.

“Recent data from the SOLs, PALS and now today’s heart-wrenching decline in Virginia’s NAEP scores, are a predictable outcome of the decade-long systematic dismantling of a foundational commitment to excellence in education,” said Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera.

“While the pandemic and long-sustained closures of schools accelerated the regression of student proficiency, deliberate decisions, pre-dating the pandemic, set our students on a downward path of declining achievement,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

Virginia has lost 20 years of progress made since the implementation of Virginia’s Standards of Learning, she said.

The writing on the wall has been visible for all to see for some time now. The Youngkin administration issued an analysis earlier this year decrying the collapse in standards and state test scores. Democrats and media pushed back, accusing the administration of exaggerating the worrisome signs for political purposes. But the publication of the NAEP data backs up the administration’s interpretation of the data. The NAEP, a federal agency, has no state-level partisan agenda. By administering the same test across the country, the assessments allow educators to make valid comparisons between the performance of the nation’s diverse schools systems.

As pessimistic as Team Youngkin’s analysis was earlier this year, Virginia’s performance is worse than anyone had imagined.

The following graph of average 4th-grade reading scores shows how Virginia’s relative performance compared to that of the national average surged after implementation of the state Standards of Learning testing regime in 1998, peaking in 2015 to 2017.  In 2017, the Board of Education lowered the standards for school accreditation, and in 2020 it lowered the cut scores for reading SOLs.

The graph below shows how dramatically the decline in 4th-grade reading scores has been compared to that of other states.

Similarly, the relative performance of Virginia 4th graders in math assessments plummeted after 2019 when the Board of Education lowered math cut scores.

In a presentation deck, Superintendent Balow reiterated the administration’s controversial claim of an “honesty gap” — the difference between students’ pass rates for the state SOLs and their performance in the federal assessment. The gap amounted to 40 percentage points for 4th-grade reading — a 72% pass rate for the SOLs versus 32% for the NAEP.

The following chart shows that, while the reading proficiency level for all Virginia 4th graders is abysmal at 32%, it is scandalous for Blacks and Hispanics. Using the national metrics, only 17% of Black 4th-graders and 16% of Hispanics are reading-proficient.

What’s the solution? In a nutshell, the Youngkin administration wants to:

  • Raise standards
  • Empower and engage parents
  • Launch tutoring partnerships
  • Hold the state and local school systems accountable
  • Do a better job of recruiting and retaining teachers
  • Provide actionable information
  • Spend nearly $2 billion in remaining federal COVID funds on learning recovery

These are all useful ideas, and because they are not terribly controversial, they might prove politically palatable to moderate Democrats. But they will address only part of the problem. Many Virginia schools have become anarchic. Discipline must be restored in order to create effective learning environments. Also, many school districts are focused on pushing through a progressive racial and gender-identity agenda that fosters divisiveness and bitterness. Undoing this damage will be much more controversial, hence more difficult, than raising the cut scores on SOL tests.


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79 responses to “A “Catastrophic” Collapse in Virginia Test Scores”

  1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    If Guidera wants to make a case for a failing system of education, she needs to go elsewhere. Virginia is not failing by any means. Not where we want to be, certainly. But failing, I don’t think so.

    1. MisterChips Avatar
      MisterChips

      Virginia may not be as bad as others but I think it is failing. This report quantifies what I have been seeing in my own school since long before the pandemic. Covid was a challenge but it isn’t the cause, it’s merely the highlighter emphasizing the failures. Learning has taken a back seat to SOL scores which give a false impression of adequacy. We desperately need a leader who will look at the system VDOE and the state legislature created and change course. I’m not sure Youngkin is that person but I ‘m trying to be optimistic.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        It’s hard to call Virginia a “failure” when it still scores in the top 1/3 of NAEP scores.

        If Virginia is a “failure”, what does that say about the other 30 states that Virginia is better than?

        1. MisterChips Avatar
          MisterChips

          Nothing good, that’s for sure.

          I didn’t care that my own children were learning more than the national average, I cared that they were learning everything they could. Their mom and I insisted that they be good readers, writers and thinkers without regard to the national average. They didn’t have to be valedictorians (they were) or A students but they had to give us their best. I want the same for your children when they are in my school and classroom. Being in the top 30% doesn’t satisfy me one bit.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep. You and mom are well educated I suspect and once that happens, the kids follow.

            But parents who are not well educated, poorly educated don’t have that culture and their kids follow mom/dad also.

            Somehow in the past, we had less educated mom/dad but the kids overcame it, grew up well educated then the cycle continued.

          2. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            Exactly. It renews my faith when liberals (you) and conservatives (me) agree and try to solve the same problem. How do we get those kids from cultures that don’t value education to believe in the importance of education? I’ve had some success with focusing on relationship building while teaching content. Once a teacher makes a connection, the learning part is much easier.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            Good Lord. We not only agree but amicably also!

            Kudos!

      2. Lefty665 Avatar

        SOLs certainly give a falsely optimistic impression of adequacy when compared to the NAEP measures. SOLs show roughly twice the percentage of NAEP competency.

        What would you replace SOLs with? No standardized testing? Do we wait 15 or 20 years to see how students fare in the workplace? Driving blind until you hit something does not seem like a good idea.

        1. MisterChips Avatar
          MisterChips

          I’m not sure. LarrytheG and I have discussed this in other threads. There has to be some standardized test. I just don’t think the current iteration of SOL testing gets it done.
          I don’t think you have to wait that long for feedback either. There are plenty of test programs that can provide feedback almost instantly. It’s also easy to provide a framework of standards to make sure all teachers are pulling together.

          I like accountability and standards. When I read the Math 7 SOLs I think they sound great. However, in real life as a high school math teacher, I would be happy if the students came to me knowing basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, and some pre-algebra. They don’t for the most part. The problem is the volume of it. Many teachers push through to “cover” everything before the SOL test. Then they cram for the test in the 2 weeks prior, make sure the students know all the calculator tricks and then mostly (or not) pass the test. My argument is that most of them have “learned” very little. The SOL system causes that dysfunction. You can have a standardized test and standards and still offer a sound education.

      3. Kathleen Smith Avatar
        Kathleen Smith

        The problem is the accountability system, not totally COVID. The problem is lowering the cut scores. Ridiculous.

  2. Declining test scores and proficiency and mastery of skills and knowledge, yet how many were ‘socially promoted’ to the next grade vs. how many had to repeat a grade?

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      All of them were socially promoted. And will be again this year and the next until they “graduate”.

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    If parents can pick the reading material then they can teach reading too.

    1. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
      Baconator with extra cheese

      I think the kids passing the tests were taught reading by their parents. That’s a pretty significant part of the problem.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        That’s a nice thought. So are unicorns.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          what to do when the reality is that parents cannot?

  4. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    We’ve all been taught over the last few years that tests are not equitable.
    Get rid of the tests and get rid of the problems.
    Besides most of the politicians’ and labor union leaders’ kids go to private schools so no problems for them.
    Make sure to work hard with your kids at home folks. Well prepared kids will stand out in the workplace.

    1. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
      Baconator with extra cheese

      If the kids are told the tests are racist/ inequitable how much effort do you think they put into the tests? I wouldn’t doubt this accounts for a significant portion of the decline.

    2. MisterChips Avatar
      MisterChips

      Amen.

    3. LarrytheG Avatar

      private schools INCLUDED in the NAEP scores….

      1. MisterChips Avatar
        MisterChips

        But private schools aren’t shackled by SOLs.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          True – and they apparently had the same shortfalls…

          which we would not even know if it were not for NAEP since they don’t do SOLs.

          Take away the SOLs and the conservative critics who use that data to impugn schools would be out of ammunition!

          1. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            I’ve never looked for that information but I would be curious to see how Norfolk Academy, Cape Henry and Catholic High fared over the last 5 years.

            I’m a conservative and I don’t want to impugn public schools. I want them to live up to their potential. As a public school teacher I welcome the criticism, as long as it’s constructive and legitimate.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            So you asked a good question about transparency and comparing private to public which is where is the academic performance data for private schools so we CAN compare them to public schools AND if they truly are better , ESPECIALLY with the economically disadvantaged demographic, then let them handle those kids if the public schools are not.

            Key to me. I have no allegiance to ANY school, public or private if it cannot successfully educate ALL demographics.

            I compliment you. You are a rare Conservative – at least in BR, who is willing to discuss the issue honestly and civilly.

            thank you!

          3. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            Thanks LarrytheG. I enjoy the exchange of perspective.

  5. DJRippert Avatar

    This disaster in Virginia has been coming for some time. The gross incompetence and culpable negligence of the Northam Administration (in education especially) has been well documented on this blog.

    https://www.baconsrebellion.com/atif-qarnis-alternate-universe/

    “In one sentence, Qarni accuses Youngkin of manufacturing a crisis in K-12 education that does not exist.”

    Guess what, Qarni? It looks like Youngkin was right all along.

    Elections have consequences and electing Northam has been a nightmare for Virginia.

  6. Bubba1855 Avatar

    I wish you folks would stop talking about how much scores have dropped. Duh, everyone knows they have dropped…a lot. The real questions should be directed at what we’re going to do moving forward… things like a)should we increase the school days for the next few years and/or b) should we hold back students with really low scores. and on and on… lets start talking about solutions…
    Bubba

  7. Bubba1855 Avatar

    Lets talk about ‘special’ teaching certificates for seniors that have legit BA and BS degrees and are not in teaching that are just waiting to retire at 65 in order to get medicare health insurance. Lets increase the number of teachers and teacher assistants in the short run to help the existing staffs bring the kids up to par. Just to name a few. You folks aren’t stupid. I’m sure that you have lots of ideas. Lets talk about those ideas. Hey, I’m 78 I’m too old to teach…I like to sleep in in the morning and play golf at noon.
    Bubba

    1. MisterChips Avatar
      MisterChips

      Two solutions:
      Spend some money to reduce class size. I would do that before I raise teacher salaries. With 20 geometry students instead of 30 I might be able to remediate more.

      Drop the SOL test. One big problem with the SOL tests is the time I lose. I get these students for 90 days. I’ll easily lose 15-20 days because of the test. My end of course SOL test might be 10-15 days before the exam. Add a few days for test prep and you’re done. I continue to try to teach but it definitely gets harder to motivate some students. The SOL culture perpetuates the idea among students that they need not learn anything after the test.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        that would take care of reporting the low scores for sure!

      2. Lefty665 Avatar

        Perhaps you have failed to encourage kids to appreciate that their grade in your course depends on how they do on tests and the final exam, not on how they do on SOLs.

        If your argument is that SOLs fail to test on material essential to the course that is a different issue. The other side of that coin is that SOLs do measure mastery of the subject and you are not teaching course essentials until forced to by standardized testing.

        1. MisterChips Avatar
          MisterChips

          Visit your local high school and inquire about how final exams are weighted these days. Inquire about grading policies in general. You might be surprised at how lenient grades are if you went to high school more than 15 years ago.

          SOLs test for the SOL guidelines, not mastery of content. Algebra 1 SOLs test for mastery of the Desmos online calculator. None of that is learning Algebra 1 to me. If you have really mastered Algebra 1 you will pass the SOL. If you have not mastered Algebra 1 you will probably still pass the SOL. So yes, I argue that SOLs fail to adequately test what I call essential. For example, I argue that you should be able to do some basic arithmetic without a calculator. Others disagree.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            If the tests are inadequate then change the tests. Eliminating accountability is not the answer.

          2. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            That’s exactly my point. You must have standards and accountability. The test is the culprit here and needs to go. Well, one of the culprits. I think smartphones and social media are right up there too.

      3. DJRippert Avatar

        I have a serious issue with dropping the SOL tests. Anytime I see a group looking to reduce or eliminate accountability, my ears perk up.

        If the tests are ineffective then fix that.

        If the tests are scheduled too late in the semester / year then schedule them later.

        But eliminate the tests? And let BigEd in places like Richmond pretend that children are being effectively educated? Oh, hell no.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          That’s effectively what is going on with private schools that don’t have to give SOLs much less report results but are touted by Conservatives as better than Public Schools and we should give vouchers for kids who currently have to test SOLs to private schools that do not.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            But private schools, by definition, are a choice. I personally think the private schools should be required to make students take the SOLs as should home schooled students. Meanwhile, I believe private schools are required to make their students take the NAEP. If so, it would be very interesting to see the breakdown in scores among public, private (non charter), and private (charter) schools.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            They might be a “choice” but what does that actually mean in terms of academic standards and requirements compared to what public schools are mandated to do?

            I’m ALL FOR the ability of private schools to enroll students at state cost IF they:

            1. enroll the economically disadvantaged that ARE poorly served at some public schools.

            2. – they have to meet the SAME reporting and performance standards of public schools.

            I’m OPPOSED to vouchers to schools that do not test SOLs and report them – period and even more so if they are justified by claiming SOLs from pubic schools show they are “failing”.

            Take away the SOLs and how do we know anything – public or private?

          3. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            I hope you change your mind about SOLs someday. It is a truly bad system and we should not want them to spread to private schools.

            How about if public schools and private schools who get vouchers both take the New York Regents Exam or similar test every year and report the data?

          4. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            My children went to Catholic schools and there are standardized tests. The Catholic system has no desire to produce uneducated graduates. Their standardized, national tests seem to be true self assessments unlike SOLs.
            If they take public money, they should take standardized tests of some sort (NOT SOLs) and make the results public.
            I don’t think private schools are better but they do produce a better product on average. There are a variety of possible reasons for that but private schools being “better” would not be in my top 3. That’s a purely anecdotal opinion based on observations of both systems for many years.

        2. MisterChips Avatar
          MisterChips

          But that’s exactly what we have. Richmond created this debacle of SOLs to make it look like kids are learning.

          I assure you, my hatred for the SOL test and that whole ecosystem does not mean I would eliminate accountability. You and I want to solve the same problem.

  8. Bubba1855 Avatar

    small example…when I went to Fairfax High School in the 60’s, we had a math teacher who taught Algebra 2. He said he would stop teaching to sell life insurance. The school made him a ‘deal’…he would teach 2 classes in the morning then go sell life insurance. He was a great Algebra teacher. Let’s get creative.
    Bubba

  9. LarrytheG Avatar

    What would/should be done to recover/regain, increase scores?

    Again – NAEP also includes private schools – which also experienced the same “historic” losses.

    More teachers? Summer / year-round school? Higher qualified teachers? same teachers teacher “harder”?

    The same teachers Conservatives have eviscerated for not
    wanting to teach in-person during Covid – not just in Virginia?

    More money, after tax cuts? 😉

  10. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Keep in mind: In all of the listening I have done today on the subject of the NAEP scores, including attending the NAEP event and the Board of Education event by web, it is important to realize that these scores are not at the school or student level. They should be used for making policy decisions only. Yes, we have work to do. I heard Secretary Guidera say at a national meeting that the cause of the decline was not due to Covid. Has she lost her mind? I am not saying all of the decline is due to Covid, but, in fact, much of the decline was due to how teachers were unrealistically expected to teach kids during a pandemic. Let’s not beat up schools and teachers, let’s use this time to get back to more teaching and be thankful we have kids in schools learning (not on the web).

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Please look again at the line in the reading scores graph. It is a straight line from 2017-2022. It does not bend for the covid years. The national scores decline during those years, but the slope of the Virginia decline is twice as steep, or more. Same goes for math, but the trend is not quite as dramatic.

      There’s no doubt that teaching during covid was difficult, and we had no preparation for switching to remote learning. That’s no different in Virginia than the rest of the country, and we have done worse here.

      You’re right, beating up on teachers is not a solution. Recognizing the problems is the first step towards implementing solutions. Schools and teachers are are the problems. They need profound change along with the support and guidance to achieve it.

      1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
        Kathleen Smith

        We had farther to fall. If you weren’t so good to begin with, Covid didn’t send you as far down as a state that was higher to begin with.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar

          That’s a nice thought, but there was room for the country to collapse as dramatically as Virginia did and it did not.

          Nationally reading proficiency fell 3 percentage points from 35% to 32%. Virginia fell 11% from 43% to 32%. That’s almost 4 times the national decline.

          Equivalent decline for the country would have been from 35% to 24%, or to about 26% if you calculate it as a percentage drop rather than numeric.

          As a percentage national scores dropped less than 1/10th while Virginia’s dropped almost 1/4. Either way you figure it Virginia took a huge tumble.

          Do you believe there is a baseline achievement that kids will reach without education (something like 25% reading at grade level with no school intervention) and that most schools don’t regularly rise much above that? If so that’s a depressing view of America’s schools.

          1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
            Kathleen Smith

            I believe that we did a terrible job of virtual education. So much so, our NAEP scores demonstrated a significant loss.

          2. Lefty665 Avatar

            What made us so bad at virtual education? As in much worse than the rest of the country?

  11. Kathleen, Every school system in the country faced the COVID challenge. Almost every school system in the country saw declines in NAEP scores. Virginia saw the BIGGEST declines. We went from one of the top-performing states to a middle-of-the-pack state. That’s a policy failure of the first magnitude.

    I’ll add one thing that Team Youngkin is too diplomatic to say. We still have downward momentum! Come back in two years and let’s see what our NAEP standing looks like then.

    This headline from the Virginian-Pilot just came across my desk: “More than half a dozen bomb threats received at Hampton Roads schools; students sent home early”

    https://www.pilotonline.com/news/education/vp-nw-deep-creek-bomb-threat-20221024-4llzcojahfgwjiosrexvvfdxgq-story.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking%20News&utm_content=6251666634465

    It’s anarchy. The grown-ups have lost control.

    1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
      Kathleen Smith

      You are right about discipline. See my comment above. Virginia had more distance to travel to post Covid levels. We obviously provided much better instruction in person than virtual. Another state may not be demonstrating that same fact.

      1. Lefty665 Avatar

        Interesting thought that Virginia was worse than the country in remote learning. That is sad if that is the case considering Virginia’s relative affluence and access to technology. However, Virginia’s abrupt downward trends started before covid and have not changed through and after covid shutdowns. That argues that covid and remote learning are not the critical variables.

        At least coincidentally in Virginia one variable that changed during that period was the escalated emphasis on wokeness and DEI. Time spent on those issues took time away from teaching reading and math while de-emphasizing achievement, structure and discipline.

        Change needs to start from the top. Youngkin is at the right place to make change, and he needs to do it. VDoE should expect a profound shakeup and assertion of higher standards for and support of teaching actual academics.

        My guess is that most teachers will welcome more teaching and less wokeness/DIE. My experience has been that most teachers are teachers because they care about helping kids learn.

      2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        I wrote a couple of columns in the past two years that pointed out the problem with remote learning. Virginia had a high-functioning public education but privately run remote learning system, but the VDOE bureaucrats fought it by establishing their own system in the middle of the pandemic and virtually forcing the public schools to use the new one. I’ll write a retrospective tomorrow.

    2. Lefty665 Avatar

      Those trend lines do not show any signs of flattening out or bending. That both reading and math score declines are straight lines from 2017-2022 is disconcerting. There is no hint in the numbers that Virginia has either hit bottom or is on the way up. That is scary. That argues for profound changes first to stop the declines and then to improve. Youngkin has his work cut out for him. I guess the good news is that the issue is unambiguous.

      Learning cannot happen until classrooms are secure, so that is the first step. I don’t expect that will be accomplished quickly.

  12. how_it_works Avatar
    how_it_works

    The world needs ditch diggers too.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Everyone else needs to be able to read.

      1. how_it_works Avatar
        how_it_works

        25% of Virginians couldn’t read in 1900. If it was good enough then, it’s good enough now.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar

          Ha ha ha. And that’s about where we are today.

          The world hasn’t changed at all in the last century+. No more skills needed these days. What could go wrong???

    2. Lefty665 Avatar

      Everyone else needs to be able to read.

  13. All the little 10-year-old 4th graders are 100% clear on what it means to be transsexual, though.

    So we’ve got that going for us.

    Which is nice…

  14. Isn’t this what equity looks like?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      for all 50 states including RED states?

      1. Yes.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          like Florida and Texas?

          1. Last time I checked, they were still part of the union.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            yep. Red States doing the “equity” thing?

          3. What’s your point?

  15. Lefty665 Avatar

    JAB This puts a fine point on your post last week on standardizing the use of phonics across Virginia’s schools to bring all kids up to grade level reading in the 3rd grade. If implemented that will be the foundation for achieving increased reading skills in 4th grade and above.

    Less wokeness and DIE and more 3Rs can make our schools better places for kids today and for the future of Virginia.

  16. LarrytheG Avatar

    Need to keep in mind that NAEP INCLUDES private schools.

    and how about this: ” Delaware test scores have fallen to the bottom of the heap since 2019, with some worse than any other state, according to the Nation’s Report Card, which was released Monday.”

    https://townsquaredelaware.com/delaware-math-reading-scores-drop-at-top-of-state-lists/

    Even with the drops in scores, Virginia STILL scores higher that a majority of other states.

    Blaming Northam for statewide reductions is just plain ignorant IMO.

    Across the country, not only schools, but stores, airlines, hospitals, nursing homes, workplaces (including Virginia) were adversely affected by the pandemic and the most ignorant expected/demanded/condemned teachers for not wanting to be put at any more risk than others in their workplaces.

    At this point, Youngkin has a lot of words making political hay but at the end of the day – he can increase standards till the cows come home but that won’t increase scores which is a much tougher gig.

    1. MisterChips Avatar
      MisterChips

      I agree. The problem was in motion long before Northam came to office. Increased standards alone won’t get NAEP scores up but it’s a start. Good teachers teaching a good curriculum would help too. And parents, tell your kid to get off Tik Tok and pick up a book.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        how to increase academic performance statewide – to over a million kids… how to do that…

        1. MisterChips Avatar
          MisterChips

          I guess it depends on the yardstick. From my perspective I would be happy if 90% of our graduates in Virginia could read proficiently, clearly express their thoughts orally and in writing, and do some arithmetic.

          Now, how to prove it?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            before that, how do you accomplish it?

            “teach harder”?

          2. MisterChips Avatar
            MisterChips

            Maybe not teach harder. How about teach better? By the way, can you share with me a link to the private school NAEP data? I can’t find it. Private schools are difficult to pin down because they have a different type of student. Mostly they have family buy in. We’ve discussed families with cultures that value education vs not. Private schools benefit from the fact that the families have solved the problem for the school. Not many families are willing to drop 10k per year and have the kid not buy in. The schools are usually successful with all demographics as long as they come from families with educational buy in. I haven’t seen much difference in public schools vs private except for the families.

  17. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    If we keep washing down accountability metrics, our scores will go down. Expect less, get less.

    I want to be clear: what I see in the NAEP downfall is this: in person learning before Covid was better than in person learning in several states. Learning during Covid in Virginia was not as good or worse than other states. Thus, our drop was steeper. Period.

    Now we need to watch if the change in the cut scores and other accountability will return us to Pre Covid levels or will we go down. I think down.

  18. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Republicans controlling the General Assembly for 20+ years until very recently…until 2020?“
    “The governor politicizing this is unfortunate.”

  19. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “When my predecessors lowered educational standards, those lowered expectations were met…. These actions were compounded by keeping children out of school for extended and unnecessary periods.”

    What standards were lowered?

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Wasn’t the “cut rate” on the SOLs lowered?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Define cut rate.. Do you mean passing score? It’s 400. Same as it ever was.

        Now they did come up with a new test in 2012, but I can’t remember who was governor…
        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://wydaily.com/news/local/2012/09/13/new-sol-data-shows-all-students-struggled-with-math/&ved=2ahUKEwj_7qva1vv6AhXESTABHUDRC6EQFnoECCQQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0fKv3vnxe-S8RW4ynVDzVg

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