Welcome back for the 2014 – 2015 school year! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing summer.
The Va Dept of Ed released SOL and end of year exam scores yesterday, August 28, 2014. That is one of the latest release dates I recall.
History has taught me that the greatest indicator of student academic success is their parent’s financial stability. For more decades than I care to count, it had been observed that students from economically disadvantaged families tend to underperform relative to their peers from financially stable families. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the “achievement gap” has remained steadfast and consistent for as long as test score data has been complied.
PWCS has one of the highest percentages of economically disadvantaged students in northern Virginia. I believe only Arlington, Alexandria, Manassas, and Masassas Park have a greater percentage. I mention that because in years past PWCS has cited demographics as the reason our student test scores lag those achieved in neighboring counties. PWCS does have a point, our school division’s demographic balance does affect our overall scores, however, demographics aren’t the only reason.
For the last couple of years I’ve been compiling test score reports for economically disadvantaged and not economically disadvantaged students, and comparing those scores. PWCS student scores are consistently in the bottom 1/3 of northern Virginia counties in every subject tested at the high school level, except Reading and US & Virginia History. This is for both economically disadvantaged and not economically disadvantaged students, so, while the demographic balance of our students does account for SOME of the deficit, it doesn’t account for all of it.
Below is a link to the report on high school scores (High School SOLs – 2010 to 2014). I’ll be cobbling together test score reports as I find time and posting them on the Test Scores Page. Until then, enjoy, and welcome back to school!