Chesterfield County Public Schools student pass rates on state-mandated Standards of Learning tests continue to exceed state averages, according to the latest data released by the Virginia Department of Education. Chesterfield County students outperformed their counterparts across the state by 4 percentage points in mathematics, 3 percentage points in reading, 2 percentage points in science and 1 percentage point in history and writing.
Chesterfield County students improved or maintained performance in four of five content areas during the 2016-17 school year, highlighted by student pass rates on the writing SOL test that increased 4 percentage points from the 2015-16 school year.
Other division-level highlights include:
The positive pass rate news followed notice from the Virginia Department of Education that 46 Chesterfield County schools are eligible for automatic full accreditation for the next three years based on sustained levels of high academic achievement. Despite more positive results, however, school division leaders cautioned against using SOL pass rates as the sole indicator of success for a child or an individual school.
“We are proud of our students’ achievement on these SOL tests, but we know that this is not the only measurement of our student success,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “We will continue to work to reduce the focus on SOL scores by encouraging innovation in the classroom. Our goal is not rote memorization. We want students who are able to explore curriculum through hands-on learning opportunities and community service that engages and excites their passion for learning.”
“Our staff and students have worked diligently to meet and exceed the minimum standards identified by the state, and we’re thrilled by some of the gains that we’ve seen” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “However, we know that meeting minimum standards are not enough when it comes to preparing students for success outside of the K-12 world. We also know that a one-day test is not an accurate snapshot of a student, and that we must identify alternative methods for measuring student growth over the course of a school year.”
At its June meeting, the School Board received a presentation about the development of a balanced assessment model. More information is available here.