Chesterfield’s reading SOL pass rates keep rising

Reading pass rates on state-mandated Standards of Learning tests continue to increase across Chesterfield County Public Schools, according to 2015-16 school year data released by the Virginia Department of Education.

Student pass rates on all reading SOL tests increased another 2 percentage points from the 2014-15 school year and have increased by 7 percentage points since the 2013-14 school year. With an 84 percent pass rate for all students, Chesterfield County Public Schools reading pass rate is 4 percentage points higher than the state average.

State data showed that Chesterfield County Public Schools student achievement levels continue to fare favorably when compared to other school divisions in Virginia. Chesterfield County’s student pass rates met or exceeded state averages 75 percent of the time. In addition to a 4-point differential in reading, Chesterfield County Public Schools student pass rates in mathematics are 3 percentage points higher and 1 percentage point higher in science. Student performance in social studies is even.


Despite the positive results, school leaders cautioned about reading too much into student pass rates as a sole indicator of success.

“It’s important that we don’t judge student achievement based on one test,” new Superintendent Dr. James F. Lane said. “A child’s success should be measured by how much he or she grows academically during the course of one year. Moving forward, we will focus on developing multiple measures for academic growth, student engagement and student success.

“We want to take the focus off SOLs and eliminate the perception of teaching to a test. We want to create classroom laboratories where students are free to explore the curriculum, participate in hands-on learning opportunities that demonstrate the relevance of what they are learning and reignite their love for learning and exploration.”

The school division’s academic efforts continue to be focused on providing an engaging blend of high-quality face-to-face instruction infused with project-based learning that allows students the opportunity to solve real-world problems.