SOL results in; tests getting harder

This year, instead of AYP – which aimed to have every child passing reading and math tests by 2014 – Virginia will now try to reduce its fail rates by half by 2018.

However, the move has made the commonwealth’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests harder. This year the math SOL test increased in difficulty, and it shows in Fluvanna’s scores. Only 54 percent of Fluvanna third graders passed the mathematics SOL, whereas 84 percent of Fluvanna third graders passed the reading and writing SOL.

A press release from Fluvanna County Public Schools stated that, “students across the state had more difficulty on the Grade 3, Grade 7 and Grade 8 tests” and named “the increased rigor of … standards” as one of the top reasons for the pass rates for those grades which hovered around 50 percent.

The English and science tests will get harder next year. But the Fluvanna school system feels confident in those subjects. Science SOL pass rates were in the eighties and nineties across all grades, and English scores at the elementary level have improved this year.

According to the Fluvanna County Public Schools’ press release, “Although the elementary schools did not exceed state averages in reading, there were significant gains in the area of reading from the 2010-11 school year.” The reading and writing pass rate for fifth graders increased by five percent from the previous year.

While Fluvanna elementary students are struggling, Fluvanna County High School continues to surpass state averages in 10 of the 11 areas tested at the high school level.

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