The Virginia Department of Education updated data Wednesday for the performance of student subgroups at every school on the 2011-12 Standards of Learning tests.
The data is added to each school’s report card, which can be found here. The state evaluates the performance of students in subgroups, which classify students by race, socioeconomic status, disabilities and Limited English Proficiency. Later this month, VDOE will report accreditation ratings for schools.
Virginia’s students struggled with new, more rigorous standards on the math SOLs that were implemented this year. Subgroup pass rates fell by a range of eight to 25 points when compared to performance on the old tests. In 2010-11, 87 percent of the state’s students passed math SOLs, but this year, 68 percent passed. The pass rates declined most for black students and students with disabilities, with pass rates dropping 25 and 26 percent, respectively.
This year, the English tests will also become more rigorous, making 2011-12 the last year under the old standards. There was little change in subgroup performance this year, with students improving slightly statewide. Students with disabilities have the lowest pass rate, at 66 percent.
Science tests this year will also be based on standards revised and approved by the Board of Education in 2010. As with the English tests, the subgroups showed little change in their performance on the science tests, but no group did worse than the previous year.
Most subgroups in Virginia improved History/Social Science SOL pass rates by one or two percentage points, with no declines. Those SOLs introduced more rigorous standards in 2010-11.
The impact of the new tests on accreditation ratings will be mitigated by averaging the pass rates for past three years. Federal accountability determinations are tentatively expected to be released in October.
In Williamsburg-James City County Schools, the number of students passing their math SOLs dropped from 92 to 78 percent. In the subgroups, the number of Limited English Proficient students passing the tests dropped the most, from 79 to 44 percent. Among black students, 56 percent passed this year, compared to 83 percent last year. Asian students performed best on the new tests, with pass rates dropping eight points, from 99 percent to 91 percent.
The pass rates for English tests improved in all subgroups, except Limited English Proficient students, whose pass rate declined from 74 to 66 percent. Black students achieved a 6 percent gain in pass rates, with 85 percent passing their English tests.
WJCC scores showed small gains and losses on the history and science SOLs. On the history SOLs, Limited English Proficient students’ pass rates improved nine points, from 56 to 65 percent. The same group also boosted its science pass rates, from 54 to 66 percent.
York County Schools
In York County, pass rates for the math SOLs dropped 14 percentage points, from 94 to 80 percent. The pass rates for students with disabilities dropped the most, from 75 to 50 percent. Economically disadvantaged students’ pass rates dropped 22 points, to 63 percent, while black students’ pass rates dropped 21 points, to 65 percent.
In English, the county’s already high pass rate of 94 percent stayed steady. Limited English Proficient students gained nine percentage points, raising their pass rate to 86 percent.
York County’s pass rates for the history and science SOLs showed small gains and losses, most of one or two percentage points. Limited English Proficient students had big gains on the science SOLs, however, with pass rates rising from 75 to 86 percent.