VDOE Releases 2016-2017 SOL Test Results
RICHMOND, Va. – Student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests during 2016-2017 was relatively unchanged compared with performance during the previous school year, although black students made gains on five of the six elementary and middle school reading tests, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) reported today.
Overall, 80 percent of students achieved proficient or advanced scores in reading, and 79 percent passed tests in mathematics, compared with 80 percent in both subjects in 2015-2016. Eighty-two percent passed grade-level or end-of-course SOL tests in science, compared with 83 percent previously.
Student achievement in English writing improved by two points, with 79 percent passing compared with 77 percent during 2015-2016. Overall achievement in history/social science was unchanged, with 86 percent of students passing SOL tests in the subject.
“Students continue to perform at substantially higher levels on the commonwealth’s rigorous assessments in mathematics, English and science than when these tests were first introduced in 2012 and 2013,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “This long-term, upward trend is far more important than a snapshot for a single year and reflects the hard work of thousands of teachers, principals and other educators and their dedication to helping students meet high expectations.”
Some of the highest pass rates in English, mathematics, science and history/social science were on the end-of-course tests high school students must pass to earn credit toward graduation, with results as follows:
- 87 percent passed the end-of-course reading test and 84 percent passed the high school writing assessment;
- 82 percent passed the Algebra I test, 78 percent passed the Geometry test and 90 percent passed the Algebra II test; and
- 82 percent passed the Earth Science and Biology assessments and 89 percent passed the Chemistry test.
- 83 percent passed in Geography, 85 percent in World History I, 87 percent in World History II and 86 percent in Virginia and U.S. History.
Fourth graders, sixth graders and eighth graders all improved in reading, as follows:
- 79 percent of fourth graders achieved proficient or advanced scores in reading, a two-point improvement compared with 2015-2016;
- 78 percent of sixth graders earned proficient or advanced scores in reading, a one-point gain compared with 2015-2016; and
- 76 percent of eighth-graders achieved proficient or advanced scores in reading, a one-point gain compared with 2015-16.
Of the 1,805 open public schools with reportable test results, 680 improved in mathematics, 800 in reading and 411 improved in both subjects.
Black students achieved a one-point gain in overall reading achievement, with 67 percent passing. Larger gains were made by black students on five specific grade-level SOL reading tests as follows:
- 67 percent of black fourth graders passed in reading, a three-point gain;
- 71 percent of black fifth graders passed in reading, a four-point improvement;
- 63 percent of black sixth graders passed in reading, a two-point gain;
- 69 percent of black seventh graders passed in reading, a one-point gain; and
- 59 percent of black eighth graders passed in reading, a two-point improvement.
While overall black achievement in math dropped one point to 66 percent, the performance of black students on the both grade-6 and grade-8 math tests improved by one point, to 70 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Overall achievement of Hispanic students in reading was unchanged, with 71 percent passing, but the performance of Hispanic students did improve in three grades, as follows:
- 70 percent of Hispanic fourth graders passed in reading, a three-point gain;
- 73 percent passed the fifth-grade reading test, a one-point improvement; and
- 69 percent of Hispanic students passed the sixth-grade reading test, a two-point gain.
Overall Hispanic performance in mathematics also dropped one point to 71 percent but Hispanic students did achieve a one-point gain in Algebra I with 75 percent passing the SOL test for the course.
|Students with Disabilities||45||46||47|
|Students with Disabilities||40||40||42|
|Students with Disabilities||48||49||48|
|Students with Disabilities||51||53||52|
|Students with Disabilities||60||60||59|
The 2016-2017 school year was the third of a four-year phase-in of computer adaptive testing – a format that allows for shorter tests – in grades 3-8. This spring, all math tests in grades 3-8 were computer adaptive (with the exceptions of end-of-course algebra and geometry tests), and adaptive reading tests were introduced in grades 3-5. The conversion will be complete with the introduction of adaptive reading tests in grades 6-8 during the 2017-2018 school year.
Adaptive tests begin with a question or problem of moderate difficulty. If a student answers the item correctly, the computer selects a slightly more challenging problem as the next item. Conversely, an incorrect response results in the selection of a slightly less difficult item. Students’ scores are determined by the number of questions answered correctly and the relative difficulty of the correctly answered items.
The adaptive reading tests that third and fourth graders took this spring had 33 items, 14 fewer than the 47-item tests students took in 2015-2016. The adaptive fifth-grade reading SOL introduced this year also had 33 items, 17 fewer than the non-adaptive version students took during 2015-2016.
Also new this year were 39-item adaptive math tests in grades 4-5, which replaced 60-item math SOLs
fourth and fifth graders took last year.
Computer-adaptive SOL testing was first introduced during 2014-2015, with the debut of an adaptive version of the sixth-grade math test. Computer-adaptive versions of the grade-3, grade-7 and grade-8 math tests were introduced in 2015-2016.
VDOE will announce 2017-2018 state accreditation ratings in mid-September. Accreditation ratings may reflect achievement over three years and include adjustments to reward schools for successful interventions and allowances for certain transfer students and English learners.
2016-2017 Statewide Test-by-Test Results (All Students)
|English: Reading||Grade-3 Reading||75||76||75|
|English: Writing||Grade-8 Writing||72||71||73|
|History/Social Science||VA Studies||87||87||87|
|Civics & Economics||86||87||87|
|World History I||85||84||85|
|World History II||87||86||87|
|VA & US History||87||86||86|