Students gaining ground with tougher math SOL test

Students gaining ground with tougher math SOL test

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Students gaining ground with tougher math SOL test

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 12:28 AM

RICHMOND - Virginia will release information next month on which schools have made the grade in the latest SOLs.  

Some students are scoring higher on the more challenging SOL math tests, but there is much room for improvement, according to the latest numbers.

“Raising standards is difficult, but well worth the effort. We are asking students to meet higher expectations so that when they graduate, they will be ready for college and the work force,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said Tuesday.

Two years ago, the Virginia Department of Education introduced more rigorous math tests, causing grades to drop. During the second year of the test, students statewide are scoring slightly higher.

Here is the percentage of students in Hampton Roads who passed 8th grade math last year compared to this year, according to information from the state.

                        2011-2012                                   2012-2013:
Chesapeake:     71%                                               76%
Isle of Wight:      78%                                                73%
York Co.:              65%                                               63%
Hampton:            49%                                               61%
Virginia Beach:   57%                                               60%
Gloucester:         57%                                               54%
Newport News:  44%                                               32%
Portsmouth:        36%                                               36%
Norfolk :               20%                                               33%

The English SOL tests were also made more difficult last year. As a result this year, local schools are seeing some scores drop. Here is the percentage of students who passed the 3rd grade reading tests.

                             2011-2012                             2012-2013:
York Co.:                   92%                                          81%
Gloucester:              89%                                          79%
Isle of Wight:            93%                                          78%
Virginia Beach:        88%                                          77 %
Chesapeake:           87%                                          73 %
Portsmouth:             83%                                          67%
Hampton:                 79%                                           67%
Norfolk :                    78%                                           63%
Newport News:       81%                                           62%

School leaders explained they expected to see English scores to plunge because the tests are moving away from multiple choice and toward critical thinking.

“Students are now being challenged by the standards to achieve new levels of mastery at each grade level and to apply what they have learned on assessments that are very different from the traditional multiple-choice tests people often associate with the SOL program,” Wright explained.

The accreditation list will be released September 24.

Click here to see math scores by locality
Click here to see English scores by locality

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