SOL Results – As you may have seen in news reports today, SOL scores from last spring just came out. The bottom line: despite the truly heroic efforts of teachers and support staff across the Commonwealth last year, scores plummeted. There's no denying that COVID had a staggering impact on learning.
Of note, while RPS mostly saw significant declines as well, we fared slightly better than the state average.
- Reading: State down 9 points; RPS down 9 points
- Math: State down 28 points; RPS down 24 points
- Science: State down 22 points; RPS down 14 points
- History: State down 26 points; RPS UP 4 points
- Writing: State down 7 points; RPS UP 5 points
Still, our overall proficiency rates remain quite low.
- Reading: State at 69%; RPS at 47%
- Math: State at 54%; RPS at 32%
- Science: State at 59%; RPS at 46%
- History: State at 54%; RPS at 59%
- Writing: State at 69%; RPS at 55%
It's important to note that a much lower percentage of students in RPS and across the state took the SOL last spring, meaning the data is not as reliable as in a typical year. For example, normally, between 13,000 and 15,000 RPS students take the reading and math tests. This past spring, only 3,000 did. We saw even greater drop-offs for the other tests.
We'll provide a much more detailed analysis of our results at the September 13 School Board meeting, including school and subgroup data.
These results make me even more committed to our "moonshot" literacy initiative, funded in large part by our federal stimulus dollars, and our plan to move to a year-round schedule in 2022-23. But let's be clear: post-pandemic, RPS and all of Virginia's schools will need massive new investments for many years to come if we're going to do right by our children – especially our low-income, and Black and Latino children, many of whom faced significant inequities well before COVID-19. As we head into a statewide election season, let's make sure our voices are heard on this issue. The future of an entire generation of children is at stake.