Standards of Learning

Many teachers, parents, and policymakers have agreed that the state's Standards of Learning have forced classroom instruction to be geared toward test-taking, rather than developing more comprehensive learning skills. But as the SOLs are being revised, some are concerned that Social Studies-and ultimately the lessons that teach children civic engagement-are being minimized too much. 

Fewer VA Schools Receive Full Accreditation

Sep 16, 2014

State education officials say more than 30% of Virginia’s public school did not meet full accreditation standards last year.

Here’s how the numbers break down from the Department of Education:

68% of the state’s 1827 schools were fully accredited based on Standards of Learning test results.  That’s down from 77% the previous year, and 93% two years ago.

The number of schools “accredited with warning” increased from 393 to 545.

Now that the state has cut back on the number of standards of learning tests administered in grades three through eight, officials in Richmond are looking for new ways to make sure kids are learning. 

They’ll meet August 18th to explore alternatives.

Many parents cheered when the state legislature eliminated five SOL tests, and teachers are also pleased according to Meg Gruber – President of the Virginia Education Association.

Governor McAuliffe's Standards of Learning Innovation Committee has held its inaugural meeting, and its members now have their marching orders. 

One of their long-term goals is revise the school standards to be more interesting and far more inclusive.

A broad bipartisan and bicameral consensus at the General Assembly may not create sensational headlines—but such agreements do occur.  In Part One of our series on new state laws that take effect this week.

Lawmakers in both parties and Governor McAuliffe made it a priority to cut the number of SOL tests and revise their focus. Early grades will now focus more on reading and math tests. Delegate Tag Greason sponsored a law to limit assessments in third through eighth grades.