Instruction in PWCS to be Limited to the SOLs

Officials in PWCS have proposed that instruction in district schools for Math and English be limited to the VA Standards of Learning.  This represents a massive shift from our current  position that the VA Standards of Learning define the minimum our children learn and that the PWCS curriculum exceeds the Standards of Learning. (Updated below)

The district’s justifications for this move are:

  • our students are assessed on the SOLs so we ought to teach to them;
  • the VA SOLs for Math and English have been improved since 2001 / 2003; and,
  • VA DOE officials have promised that the new SOL exams will be more rigorous than they are now.

If the proposed PWCS Math and English Curricula pass, instruction in PWCS will follow the VA SOL Curriculum for those subjects.

Even with the “new and improved SOLs” there is room for improvement. Not massive departures, but more precision which, in the past, district officials have added to the VA SOL Curriculum to develop the PWCS Curriculum for a specific subject.  Up until now district officials felt those changes better prepared our children for their futures.  If the PWCS Math and English Curricula pass, that won’t be happening anymore.  From here on out our children will be taught to the SOLs, and we will have accept on faith that the VA SOL Curriculum for those subjects are sufficient to prepare our children for their futures.

UPDATE (Saturday Jun 4):

We contacted districts in our area to determine their policies regarding instruction.   Fauquier County Schools follow and SOL only policy, and have followed that policy since the SOLs were introduced in VA.   Schools Loudoun, Fairfax, and Stafford follow a SOL plus model where the VA SOL Curriculum Frameworks are adjusted to reflect additions and clarifications their teachers feel are necessary to ensure that instruction in their schools exceed the SOLs.

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5 Responses to “Instruction in PWCS to be Limited to the SOLs”

  1. Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr. Says:

    unified …. dumbing down …

    The next move as independent dumbing down was not enough.

  2. Ed Says:

    They scare me. Why does the board not have a clue about what they are doing? And why are they doing it?

    Are these people so out of touch with teaching that they actually believe they are doing the right thing?

  3. pwceducationreform Says:

    District officials were rather effective at confusing the issue and tossing out red herrings. First they discussed the communication strategy they’d use to convince parents that the strategy was in the best interests of our children. Then, when that didn’t work, they tried to confuse the issue by claiming that this was nothing more than adopting the SOLs (and that the entire issue was a stupid parent making mountains out of mole hills). It appeared that several of our board members were successfully confused by this strategy.

    The truth is that the VA SOLs set the expectations for competency for each grade level or subject they cover. The SOL Curriculum Frameworks amplifies the SOLs and define the content knowledge, skills, and understandings that are measured by the SOLs. These two documents work hand in hand to define what students in Virginia schools must learn for every grade level and / or topic. When people reference the SOLs they are referencing both the standards themselves and the SOL Curriculum Frameworks.

    By state law instruction in PWCS must meet the requirements set forth in these documents. The state assessments (SOL Exams) are based on the expectations defined in these documents and our schools are rated based on our students’ performance on those assessments. There is no local adoption of the SOLs and SOL Curriculum Frameworks because we are required to follow them. (Source: the VA DOE).

    The PWC Mathematics Curriculum is different. It is the curriculum students in our schools follow, which, until now has been the SOL Curriculum Frameworks plus “other stuff” we felt elevated instruction in our schools above the expectations of the VA SOLs.

    That will change this year and instruction on our schools will only be to the SOLs unless parents get off their backsides and start complaining to their school board members.

  4. Instruction in PWCS to be Limited to the SOLs (via PWC Education Reform Blog) | Citizen Tom Says:

    […] What is the problem with Big Government? In order to protect ourselves from government bureaucrats, we have to get down into nitnoid details we otherwise would never bother with. Officials in PWCS have proposed that instruction in district schools for Math and English be limited to the VA Standards of Learning.  This represents a massive shift from our current  position that the VA Standards of Learning define the minimum our children learn and that the PWCS curriculum exceeds the Standards of Learning. (Updated below) The district’s justifications for this move are: our students are assessed on the SOLs so we ought to te … Read More […]

  5. Blame the Teachers, Part (2) « PWC Education Reform Blog Says:

    […] a waste of time as the School Board ultimately voted for the PWC curriculum to be the Va SOLs (see here).Our PWC Math Curriculum is the VA SOLs.  PWCS’ goal, which was openly stated at the time, is […]


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