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Standardized Testing

Every fall, Virginia releases the results of the Standardized Tests of Learning (SOL). These test are taken by students throughout their education to determine if they are mastering school subjects at their grade level. 

For each test, there is a score—a benchmark number—and students score at or above that number have “passed” while those below have “failed”.

Unfortunately, examining the scores only from the perspective of this benchmark number does not indicated an individual student’s growth. For example, a student may have begun the school year reading two grade levels below their grade. During the year, through hard work and perseverance of both the student and her teachers, the student may have gained over a year’s and a half’s worth of reading skill. However, at the time of testing, they might still fall just under that benchmark number.

Fortunately, the commonwealth of Virginia has recognized the limitations of this type of approach to assessment. This year, they have revised the system of accredidation for schools. This new system still sets as a goal grade level mastery for all students, but also recognizes and expects growth and progress of individual students on their path to meeting the benchmark.

I am pleased about this revision, because ACPS has long been committed to a growth model, and it recognizes the individual challenges and needs of every student. 


Ramee Gentry Campaign Fund
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