Richmond Public Schools’ SOL data “reflect deep decline”

The Virginia Department of Education released the Commonwealth’s SOL data for the 2012-2013 school year. Almost every school in Richmond Public School saw a decline in pass rates from the previous year.

Yesterday the Virginia Department of Education released the Standards of Learning (SOL) pass rates for the Commonwealth’s school divisions. The news for Richmond Public Schools is…not that great. In RPS’s own words: “…according to these preliminary figures, RPS data reflect deep declines in reading, writing, and science.”

Some of the lows include a 41% drop in the 5th grade English reading pass rate, a 34% drop in 8th grade science pass rate, and 30% drop in 8th grade English writing pass rate. The division did see an 18% increase in Algebra II pass rates and a 13% increase in 6th grade mathematics pass rates.

Read some local reactions here, here, here, and here.

You can find all of Richmond’s SOL data in this public Google Spreadsheet.

RPS’s release follows:

Recently, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released Standards of Learning (SOL) test pass rates for all schools and divisions throughout the state. Overall, test scores for Richmond Public Schools (RPS) declined in most areas. More specifically, according to these preliminary figures, RPS data reflect deep declines in reading, writing and science. This year the VDOE revised content standards in these areas to add rigor in an effort to promote college and career readiness. Though declines in these areas were anticipated, RPS’ scores were lower than expected.

“We are deeply disappointed with our preliminary pass rates this year. It is very clear that as a school division we have a great deal of work ahead of us to improve student outcomes. Improving student performance across the board is one of my top priorities and will be addressed with a sense of urgency. We will immediately review every aspect of our instructional program to seek the improvement needed to ensure our students’ success. To begin, we will implement an aggressive strategy to evaluate curriculum rigor and alignment with SOL content, to ensure fidelity to our current pacing guides, to improve the quality of our assessments, and to ensure the wise use of allotted instructional time. RPS has many extraordinary teachers and administrators. That said, we must continue to address teacher quality and leadership efficacy to ensure uniform excellence at all Richmond schools.

“All of us in RPS must accept personal responsibility for our students’ success. As the new school year begins, we must each rededicate ourselves to improved student achievement. Our students deserve the very best school experience that we as a school community can provide,” said Dr. Jonathan Lewis, Interim Superintendent, Richmond Public Schools.

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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