By the numbers: How local school districts tested on SOLs compared to state averages

Local News

New data from the Virginia Department of Education shows a slight dip in SOL testing score averages across the state this year and a much steeper decline for some Central Virginia school districts.

Though marginally, fewer students passed the Reading, English and History tests during the 2018-19 school year compared with the previous year.

Overall state pass rates in the five tested content areas are as follows:

  • 78% of students taking reading tests passed, compared with 79% during 2017-2018
  • 76% passed in English writing, compared with 78% previously
  • 82% passed new mathematics tests introduced during 2018-2019, compared with 77% on the previous tests in 2017-2018
  • 81% passed in science, which was unchanged from the previous year
  • 80% of students tested in history/social science passed, compared with
  • 84% in 2017-2018

Locally, Hanover County was the only school district to exceed state averages across the board.

Chesterfield County and Henrico County, meanwhile, hovered around the state averages in each subject.

Students from Richmond and Petersburg, though, scored well below the state averages in each subject except in Mathematics, where most school districts saw an uptick under the newly-revised format.

Below is a detailed breakdown of how local school districts fared in comparison to the state averages in each subject. You can also find each district’s ‘Quality Profile’ linked for each locality.

(CLICK HERE to download a school-by-school breakdown of test scores and HERE for a breakdown by school district.)

Richmond City

Richmond Public Schools saw more students pass in Writing, Science and Math but scored well below the state average in all five subjects. The subject where RPS took the biggest hit was History and Social Science, with only 55% of students passing compared to 62% last year.

Specifically at Carver Elementary, where last year multiple teachers were caught cheating on SOL tests, scores this year took a drastic dip. In Science, only 20% of students passed this year– that’s compared to a 90% pass rate just two years ago.

We’re excited to see the growth in mathematics, science, and writing, but of course disappointed by our reading and history scores. But this is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to continue to build momentum, week by week, month by month, year by year. Helping us do so is the City’s recent investment in RPS. As a result of these new funds, we’ll be able to adopt new reading and math curricula over the course of this year, add more reading specialists and other reading supports, and provide more social workers, nurses, and other personnel to support the “whole child” in RPS. I remain boundlessly optimistic about our future and can’t wait to start to the 2019-20 school year.” — RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras

District average5652555660
State average7876808281

Chesterfield County

Students in Chesterfield County tested slightly lower in four of the five subjects — Reading, Writing, History and Science — compared to the 2017-18 school year but increased their testing average in Mathematics from 80% to 82%.

Overall, the county’s scores were in line with state averages.

District average7975798282
State average7876808281

Henrico County

Henrico County saw scores dip slightly in each subject except Science, where students maintained an 82 percent pass rate from the previous year, which comes in slightly higher than the state average.

District average7672798182
State average7876808281

Hanover County

Hanover County was the only local school district to exceed state averages across the board despite seeing test results dip slightly in each subject except for Mathematics (increased to 89% from 84%).

District average 8479838986
State average7876808281


Petersburg’s test scores were the lowest in Central Virginia and among the lowest in the state. Test scores came in lower in each subject compared to the previous school year and averaged well below the state benchmark.

“Our SOL scores are not what we were hoping to achieve. While there are bright spots within the data — notably in math — it is clear that we must improve student performance on Standards of Learning tests. We can do better, and we must do better.

“Throughout the coming school year, Petersburg City Public Schools will concentrate on helping students reach their goals and achieve their potential. We will narrow our focus, monitor instruction throughout the school year, ensure that the Virginia Standards of Learning are taught and move forward together.” — Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin

District average 5238525247
State average7876808281

CLICK HERE to download a school-by-school breakdown of test scores and HERE for a breakdown by school district.

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