SOL scores increase

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores Aug. 15  for Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS), showing a diversity of pass rates for its elementary, middle and high schools.

In Virginia, elementary and middle schools must achieve a 75-percent pass rate on the reading and writing English component SOL tests, and a 70-percent pass rate in math, science and social studies in order to meet the established benchmarks for each test and to be accredited.

Virginia high schools must meet the same SOL benchmarks, as well as the benchmark for on-time graduation rates in order to be fully accredited.

According to the VDOE website, schools that are

termed as “Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate,” must have English SOL pass rates of 75 percent — with a narrow margin of 73 percent — and mathematics, science and history/social science pass rates of 70 percent with a narrow margin of 68 percent.

Schools termed “Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate,” must have a certain number of percentage points of improvement in SOL test scores compared to the previous pass rate.

Out of 28 overall SOL tests administered in LCPS, 15 saw an increase in the pass rate while 13 saw a decrease.

In the division,

Kenbridge Elementary School (KES) saw pass rates under 75 percent in third- and fifth-grade English reading, while fourth-grade English reading saw a pass rate of more than 80 percent. The school also saw pass rates under 70 percent in third- and fifth-grade mathematics, while fourth-grade saw a more than 80 percent pass rate. The fifth-grade science pass rate was under 70 percent while the Virginia Studies pass rate was above 70.

Victoria Elementary School (VES) saw pass rates above 75 percent in all English reading tests. The school saw 70 percent or above for all other pass rates.

Lunenburg Middle School saw scores under 70 percent in English reading for sixth- and seventh-grade while the eighth-grade English reading and English writing were at 75 percent or above. Mathematics tests sixth- and eighth-grades were above 70 percent. The seventh-grade mathematics pass rate was 37 percent. Eighth-grade science was above 80 percent.

The End-of-Course English Reading and English Writing pass rates, which are taken in high school, were both above 75 percent. Central High School also saw scores below 70 percent in the Algebra I and Geometry pass rates, while Algebra II saw a rate of 97 percent.

Biology and chemistry saw pass rates of 80 percent or more while earth science saw a rate under 70 percent. All social studies component tests — which includes history, civics and geography — were above 70 percent with the exception of World History I.

In November, Victoria Elementary School, Kenbridge Elementary School and Lunenburg Middle School were denied accreditation while Central High School received the status of “Fully Accredited.”

When contacted for comment on the scores, Division Superintendent Charles Berkley referred The Dispatch to his end-of-year address from the last school year, where he notes the division has worked toward enhancing state assessments and increasing graduation rates.

“We made measureable improvement in moving our scores to meet the requirements set by both state and federal standards,” Berkley said in the address. “We completed significant work in enhancing our curriculum and instructional program to enrich student learning.”

The address cited that for the upcoming year, the division looks to focus on ensuring high academic standards and expectations for students at every grade level to improve student achievement and to continue increasing academic rigor through continuous improvement of their teaching and learning skills, strategies and techniques.