Prince William County schools beat state passing rates on the most recent state Standards of Learning tests in reading, writing, history and social studies and mathematics, the school division announced Tuesday.
In addition, Prince William County students in several sub-categories – including students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, English learners and African-American, Hispanic and white students - surpassed the state average scores in all content areas, according to a school division press release.
The Virginia Department of Education released on Tuesday, Aug. 13, the results on SOL tests students took during the 2018-19 school year.
Prince William County Schools Superintendent Steven Walts said he is most proud of the performance of students in the various subgroups and attributed the achievements to teachers and administrators of the county’s more than 60 elementary schools, 16 middle schools and 12 high schools.
“Our solid performance on state assessments is evidence of the focused work of our school leaders and great teachers on teaching and learning,” Walts said in a statement.
“… In addition to the fact that our African-American, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, and white students have surpassed state averages, our English learners and students with disabilities posted double-digit gains in mathematics. This is outstanding,” Walts added. “Congratulations to our students, our staff members, our schools and our supportive community.”
The school division noted that the SOL regimen changed this past school year, particularly for high school students.
“Understanding these changes provides the necessary context for evaluating the performance of students in a school, division or in the commonwealth as a whole,” the statement said.
Because of the changes, high school students, beginning with last year’s freshman class, will not have to take and pass as many SOL tests as high school students did in previous years, the statement said. Among other things, the changes:
- Reduce the number of SOL tests high school students must pass to graduate.
- Allow students who meet testing requirements in content areas to skip the SOL test in subjects, unless additional testing is required for the school to comply with federal testing requirements in mathematics and science.
“Previously, high school students were required to continue to take end-of-course SOL tests in mathematics, science, and history/social science even if they had already earned the verified credit or credits in the content area necessary to graduate,” the statement said.
The Virginia Department of Education will announce school accreditation ratings for the 2019-20 school year in September, the statement said.