SOL scores continue five-year climb

Virginia Department of Education state-wide Standards of Learning test results released Tuesday show that pass rates rose in 23 of the 28 tests administered to third, fifth and eighth grades and in high school in the core subjects: English, mathematics, science and history/social studies.

The rise has followed a five-year trend in pass rates for SOL tests, said Charles Pyle, Virginia Department of Education public information manager.

In Prince William County, Loch Lomond Elementary School, near Manassas, received preliminary full accreditation based on revised calculations, said School Superintendent Edward Kelly.

After adding Loch Lomond to the list, there are 42 fully accredited schools in Prince William, according to the unadjusted SOL results. This is an increase from 22 schools in 2001-2002.

Nine schools are provisionally accredited/meets state standards and 13 schools are provisionally accredited/needs improvement.

The school-by-school SOL results are not conclusive of schools accreditation ratings. Other factors are included in the calculation, including the results of substitute tests such as the Advanced Placement and ACT, a schools three-year average on SOL tests and credit awarded schools for the successful remediation of students who initially failed SOL reading, writing or math tests.

The 2001 results for Manassas schools show Richard C. Haydon, George C. Round and Weems elementary schools were fully accredited. Baldwin and Dean elementary schools, Grace E. Metz Middle School and Osbourn High School were provisionally accredited/meets state standards.

“Were very hopeful and optimistic that all seven schools will meet the requirements for being fully accredited,” said Sandy Thompson, Manassas supervisor of staff development and instruction.

When preliminary results were released, Thomas DeBolt, Manassas Park superintendent of schools, said he was fairly certain Manassas Park elementary, middle and high schools would be fully accredited.

Now that the state has released results, he said, “Three of our four schools, even from these numbers, will reach accreditation.”

Cougar Elementary, Manassas Parks school for prekindergarten through third grade, scored below the state benchmark on third grade reading and will most likely not be fully accredited, he said.

At least 70 percent of students statewide passed 27 tests compared to 70 percent passing on 21 tests last year.

In 1997-98, the first year SOL tests were administered, pass rates were 70 percent or higher in five of the 27 SOL tests, Pyle said.

Students scored 70 percent or higher on each of the 12 high school-level tests, administered at the end of the corresponding courses, Pyle said.

On four of the high school tests, pass rates exceeded 80 percent. On the high school reading tests 86 percent passed, an increase of 14 points from 72 percent.

Eighty-six percent also passed the high school reading test, an increase of 15 points from 71 percent in 1998.

The reading and writing tests are the only tests that students must pass to graduate, Pyle said.

In elementary schools across the state, 72 percent of the third-grade students passed the English test. This is a seven-point increase from 65 percent in 2001.

Statewide, there were no changes in fifth-grade writing scores which stayed at 84 percent passing.

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