Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has seen significant and indisputable growth in Standards of Learning (SOL) pass rates across the four core disciplines in all of its schools, the Commonwealth of Virginia revealed today.
ACPS SOL scores increased across English, math, history and science, with the largest increases in English and math, which were targeted focus areas during the past year. The pass rates for all schools in English and math increased or remained stable compared to last year’s results. Fourteen out of 16 schools saw increases in English and math, respectively. Nine schools saw increases in history.
Twelve schools saw increases in science. Science has been an area of particular focus for the school division and is a key goal of the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan. Science instruction has been expanded and enriched for the coming school year at both the elementary and secondary levels.
During the past year, ACPS strengthened instructional practices, increased teacher training to focus on specific student needs and frequently monitored student performance.
“These SOL scores demonstrate consistent, indisputable growth across all our schools and clearly show that our teachers and principals are making progress towards ensuring the success of every student. Our gains provide evidence that we have set the right course in our pursuit of educational excellence,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.
Jefferson-Houston Pre-K-8 School experienced significant growth from last year’s SOL pass rates. The school, which is on a three-year plan to become fully accredited, has met two years’ worth of state goals in only its first year of the plan. The school’s SOL pass rate for science almost doubled from 2014 to 2015, rising by 26 percentage points in the raw SOL test data. The Jefferson-Houston’s math scores increased by 18 percentage points and its English scores increased by 12 percentage points. The state adjusted accreditation data show even greater gains.
“Dr. Crawley, the staff and teachers deserve congratulations for their hard work over the past year, which clearly shows in the SOL growth rates. Dr. Crawley has been unwavering in his pursuit of empowering and encouraging each student to achieve academic excellence. The School Board is looking forward to continuing to support him in this goal,” said School Board Chair Karen Graf.
Annual SOL testing measures academic success of students and evaluates the progress of schools across the Commonwealth. The state uses these assessments to determine whether schools are meeting instructional standards. The two attached charts show both SOL raw data results and state adjusted accreditation results. There are differences in the results shown due to the different adjustments to the scores made by the federal government for SOL results that look at the achievement of “sub-group or gap groups” including students with disabilities, Black students, students who are Limited English Proficient and students who are economically disadvantaged. The state accountability program includes all students in determining a school division’s accreditation status. The SOL pass rate for student subgroups (gap groups), increased in English, math, science and history.
The SOL pass rate for students with disabilities rose in all four core subject areas and will continue to be an area of focus for the school division in 2015-16. As with science, ACPS has increased support for students who receive special education services. The Office of Special Education has been restructured to deliver services more effectively, professional training for teachers has been expanded and resources for parents have been increased.
“ACPS has made some significant gains. Although there are areas that still need improvement, we are working to build on our momentum for the coming school year. We continue to focus on equitable pass rates across all our schools, our subject areas and our gap areas,” said Dr. Crawley.
Based on preliminary accreditation results, ACPS schools are predicted to improve accreditation ratings from last year. Final state and federal accountability results will be released by the Virginia Department of Education in mid-September.