Standards of Learning scores keep rising in Chesterfield

Chesterfield County’s student performance on state-mandated Standards of Learning reading and mathematics tests showed expected growth during the 2014-15 school year, increasing by 5 percentage points each and continuing to exceed state averages.

Data released today by the Virginia Department of Education also show Chesterfield County Public Schools student pass rates increased in science, history and writing and put Chesterfield students ahead of state averages once again. In addition to the 5 percentage-point gains in reading and mathematics, student achievement for all Chesterfield County students increased in history and social studies (to 88 percent from 84), science (to 84 percent from 81) and writing (to 79 percent from 77).

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In addition to besting overall state averages, Chesterfield County Public Schools students also surpassed or equaled state averages in 38 of 45 federal subgroups. Double-digit gains for students identified as limited English proficient in reading (11-point increase) and writing (10-point increase) led subgroup performance overall.

The school division achieved 90-plus percent pass rates on three tests and 89 percent pass rates in Algebra II and in chemistry:

  • 100-percent pass rate on high school end-of-course geography tests
  • 92-percent pass rate on high school end-of-course World History II tests
  • 91-percent pass rate on high school end-of-course reading tests

“Today’s Standards of Learning numbers are a strong indicator that Chesterfield County Public Schools is successfully preparing students for their futures. I congratulate our students, teachers, school staff members, parents and community partners for their hard work and dedication to education,” said Dr. Marcus Newsome, superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools. “But standardized tests alone will not help students chart a course to a meaningful future. Preparing students to succeed in life involves much more, and Chesterfield County Public Schools has a vision for the future that extends beyond shading in the correct bubble on a test.

“Chesterfield County Public Schools, which is the 66th-largest school district in the United States, uses an integrated approach to educating students for life. Working with the community, school leaders have aligned the district’s mission, vision, guiding principles, core values, school improvement plans and employee professional growth and performance plans with our Design for Excellence 2020 innovation plan. Those elements combine strategically: All employees understand their work helps provide an engaging and relevant education that prepares students for success after high school graduation.”

Reviewing test-by-test data by federally identified subgroups, the school division achieved a number of significant gains. On nearly 35 occasions, student performance increased by 10 percentage points or more. Highlights include

  • 24-point gain for economically disadvantaged students on high school end-of-course geometry tests
  • 22-point gain for limited English proficient students on eighth-grade writing tests
  • 20-point gain for limited English proficient students on eighth-grade math tests
  • 20-point gain for limited English proficient students on fourth-grade reading tests
  • 17-point gain for economically disadvantaged students on high school end-of-course chemistry tests
  • 15-point gain for Gap Group 3 students on fourth-grade reading tests
  • 15-point gain for students with disabilities on high school end-of-course Algebra II tests
  • 15-point gain for limited English proficient students on high school end-of-course chemistry tests

Beulah Elementary and Midlothian High narrowly missed registering perfect scores. At Beulah, 99 percent of students tested passed the history SOL; 99 percent of Midlothian High students tested passed the reading SOL. Winterpock Elementary students had a 98 percent pass rate on the science SOL. Gordon Elementary students and Tomahawk Creek Middle students had 98 percent pass rates on their history SOLs.

Mathematics at the high school level showed improvement with four schools attaining double-digit increases: Chesterfield Community, now named the Carver College and Career Academy, (22 percentage-point gain); Clover Hill (18); Meadowbrook (12); and Monacan (12).

Five middle schools achieved double-digit gains, too — Falling Creek (20 percentage-point gain in history, 18 in science and 10 in writing); Carver (11 in math and 10 in history); Elizabeth Davis (15 in writing); Salem Church (10 in science); and Manchester (10 in history).

Twelve Title I elementary schools registered gains of 10 percentage points or more: Bellwood (15 in reading, 18 in math, 15 in science and 14 in history); Marguerite Christian (10 in math, 10 in science and 13 in history); Falling Creek (22 in reading and 13 in math); Beulah (17 in reading and 14 in math); Hopkins (17 in reading and 12 in history); Davis (15 in reading); Salem Church (13 in history); Bensley (13 in reading); Providence (12 in reading); Ettrick (11 in history); Reams (10 in reading); and Elizabeth Scott (10 in reading). Five other elementary schools saw 10 percentage-point increases, too: Crenshaw (18 in reading, 11 in science and 25 in history); Alberta Smith (13 in reading); Matoaca (12 in reading); Ecoff (11 in reading); and Gates (11 in reading).

“Chesterfield County Public Schools remains committed to preparing every student for a successful future,” Dr. Newsome said. “The three big ideas in our strategic innovation plan — blended learning, project-based learning and service learning — are engaging our students with rigorous, relevant learning opportunities that prepare them for a rapidly changing world. This will help our students learn to think critically and solve problems while mastering curriculum at the same time.”

SOL reports for every school division and every school in Virginia along with information about SOL revisions are available on the website of the Virginia Department of Education: www.doe.virginia.gov.