SOL scores slightly down statewide; disparities persist for Richmond students

RICHMOND, Va. – Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores were down slightly during the 2018-19 school year compared to the previous year. according to figures released Tuesday by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

  • 78% of students taking reading tests passed, compared with 79% during 2017-2018;
  • 76% passed in English writing, compared with 78% previously;
  • 82% passed new mathematics tests introduced during 2018-2019, compared with 77% on the previous tests in 2017-2018;
  • 81% passed in science, which was unchanged from the previous year; and
  • 80% of students tested in history/social science passed, compared with 84% in 2017-2018.

CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit dug through SOL scores and here is what she found.

Statewide, SOL scores went down year to year among black, white and Hispanic students in reading, writing, and history. They went up in math.

The gap between white and black students widened in reading, writing, and history.

In Henrico and Chesterfield, scores mirrored the statewide trends. They went down in reading writing and history but up in math.

The achievement gap between blacks and whites in Henrico widened in reading, writing, and history, and it grew there between Hispanics and whites in reading, writing, and science.

In Richmond, scores went up in writing, math, and science but down in reading and history.

Hipolit specifically dug deeper into the Richmond numbers since just 19 off 44 schools are currently fully accredited by the state. Here’s what stood out to her:

Overall, 50 percent or more of black students in Richmond failed the SOL in reading, writing, history, and math.

More specifically, at Armstrong High School, nearly 75 percent of all students there did not pass writing,

Over at Blackwell Elementary School, a majority of students failed in every subject.

At Redd Elementary School history scores dropped nearly 50 percentage points, and just 10 percent of black students passed history, while 4 percent of Hispanic students passed history.

At Carver Elementary, which was involved in an SOL cheating scandal that forced the principal and several teachers out of their jobs, scores dropped way down from the 2016-2017 school year.

For example, the percentage of students who passed the science SOL dropped 70 percent.

The vast majority of students failed in every subject.

At MLK Middle School, the vast majority of students failed in every single subject as they have for the past three years.

On a more positive note, scores went up in every subject area at Swansboro Elementary School with a majority of students passing the SOL in every subject.

To take a closer look at the scores, visit the VDOE website.

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