SOL scores for counties drop more than average state decline

Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-21 08:12:58-04

VIRGINIA (WTVR)--The Virginia Department of Education is celebrating increases in statewide math scores, while explaining a statewide slippage in English and science scores.

Tuesday the VDOE released the latest results from Virginia's Standards of Learning Tests. The results were unwelcome news for some parents.

"My zoned middle school in the seventh grade in both reading and math--only 22 percent of students passed," said Richmond Public School parent Wendy Martin.

Martin claims she's had many struggles and disappointments with her three children in the system, so she's making a change.

"What does that mean for me, it means next year I'm paying for my youngest to go to private school," said Martin.

The VDOE expected the slip in scores. They say the implementation of a new and more difficult SOL is the reason for the statewide score struggle. They say the pattern often occurs after the implementation of a new test and that scores have been shown to rebound after only a few years.

"That's expected and it doesn't indicate that students all of the sudden aren't performing well or all of the sudden teachers aren't teaching well," said Charles Pyle, Spokesman for VDOE.

Between 2012 and 2013, English and science scores were down about 14 percent across the state.

Locally, Chesterfield County Schools saw a 15 percent drop, Henrico took a 16 percent plunge and Richmond Public Schools fell more than 30 percent.

"Those numbers and those drops are staggering and I'm not able to comprehend how we got to where we are," said Richmond Public School Board Chair, Jeff Bourne.

Bourne says Richmond's declines cannot be explained solely by the new test implementation. After two years of disappointing scores, Bourne believes the district needs to go back to the drawing board.

"Last year when scores came out we heard about lots of stuff that was going to go on and quite frankly it didn't work," said Bourne.