Richmond, Virginia – though Students across Virginia improved their Standards of Learning (SOL) scores in most subjects During their first personal year since the pandemic, students’ scores at SOL in Richmond have dropped dramatically in history, science, and writing.
These new numbers were released by the Virginia Department of Education on Thursday.
Nearly a third of Richmond’s students successfully passed the SOL in each of these subjects in the 2021-2022 school year. Compare that to the 2020-2021 school year, when 59% of students in Richmond passed history, 55 passed writing, and 46% passed the SOL science curriculum.
The statewide student writing success rate has also fallen from 69 percent to 65 percent.
In mathematics for seventh grade SOL, the data shows that zero RPS students passed the SOL test and only 13 percent of students in Petersburg passed it. Compare that to Chesterfield, where 83 percent of seventh-grade math students passed SOL in the last school year.
Richmond supervisor Jason Camras blamed the findings on COVID-19.
“What we’re seeing is the impact of the pandemic, and I think we need to remember that this was a once-in-a-century experience for our children who have been out of school for a long time,” Camras said.
School board member Jonathan Young (District 4) said he spent the day analyzing the numbers and sent us the following statement.
“This is what failure looks like. But to be clear, this is a failure by adults, not students. This is a failure by every adult who has maintained that distance learning was a good alternative to in-person learning. I voted not once, not twice, But three times to resume in-person education, but instead refugee protection schools closed the school doors for a year and a half.Then I lobbied hard for an alternative schedule that included a year-round calendar and more school days to catch up but instead we adopted business as usual. This is what happens to our children when adults fail.”
It should be noted that “SOL test scores for 2020-2021 reflect reduced student participation in state assessments due to COVID-19 and other pandemic-related factors. Differences in participation rates and learning conditions should be considered when reviewing the 2020-2021 assessment data.”
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