2018 SOLs: The best and worst Northern Virginia school systems

WASHINGTON — Falls Church City and Loudoun County schools had the highest pass rates in Northern Virginia on this year’s statewide Standards of Learning tests.

Alexandria, Fredericksburg and Manassas City schools had the lowest pass rates in the region on the state-run standardized tests, newly released Virginia Department of Education data show.

The pass rates only indicate the proportion of students meeting minimum standards, and are not weighted to account for different students in the system each year; smaller systems where a small number of students can significantly swing results, or differing demographic challenges in each system. Still, the tests are something students, teachers and administrators spend a significant amount of time on.

Students take the Standards of Learning tests, commonly known as SOLs, from elementary through high school.

Overall pass rates fell slightly statewide in each broad subject area this year. Significant achievement gaps remain even in many top scoring systems.

While the pass rates had been the sole measure used to describe the accreditation status of schools, the status can now be adjusted higher based on significant growth in student test scores, progress closing achievement gaps or reductions in chronic absenteeism. High school accreditation information will also factor in changes to dropout and graduation rates in schools in each of Virginia’s 131 public school divisions.

Top pass rates

On English reading tests, tiny West Point, east of Richmond, had the highest pass rate for the 2017-2018 school year with 93 percent of all students passing their exams.

On English writing tests, Highland County west of Staunton tied West Point for the highest pass rate.

On math tests, West Point tied Wise County, in southwest Virginia, for the highest pass rate, followed by Scott, York and Wythe counties. Falls Church had the top Northern Virginia pass rate.

On science tests, West Point, Rappahannock County and Poquoson City, near Newport News, had the highest pass rates, followed by Falls Church.

On history and social science tests, Falls Church had the highest pass rate in the state, two points ahead of West Point and Wise County. Bland County, in southwest Virginia, and Poquoson followed just behind.

Local pass rate rankings

English: Reading

State Rank/School System 2015-2016 Pass Rate 2016-2017 Pass Rate 2017-2018 Pass Rate
#2 Falls Church 92 93 92
#6 (tie) Loudoun County 88 87 86
#17 (tie) Arlington County 87 87 84
#31 (tie) Fairfax County 85 84 81
#31 (tie) Stafford County 82 82 81
# 47 (tie) Fauquier County 80 80 80
#59 (tie) Orange County 80 80 79
#59 (tie) Prince William County 80 80 79
#66 (tie) Spotsylvania County 79 79 78
#83 (tie) Culpeper County 78 76 75
#100 (tie) Manassas Park 71 74 72
#113 (tie) Alexandria 73 71 69
#121 (tie) Fredericksburg 73 74 67
#121 (tie) Manassas 73 72 67

English: Writing

State Rank/School System 2015-2016 Pass Rate 2016-2017 Pass Rate 2017-2018 Pass Rate
#3 Falls Church 91 94 92
#4 Loudoun County 87 89 89
#6 (tie) Arlington County 85 86 86
#8 (tie) Fairfax County 86 86 85
#31 (tie) Prince William County 78 79 80
#36 (tie) Fauquier County 82 79 79
#50 (tie) Orange County 74 75 77
#50 (tie) Stafford County 81 81 77
#58 (tie) Spotsylvania County 76 79 76
#68 (tie) Manassas Park 76 74 74
#77 (tie) Culpeper County 73 79 73
#81 (tie) Alexandria 69 68 72
#99 (tie) Manassas 72 73 68
#129 Fredericksburg 68 68 56

Math

State Rank/School System 2015-2016 Pass Rate 2016-2017 Pass Rate 2017-2018 Pass Rate
#6 (tie) Falls Church 88 88 87
#17 (tie) Arlington County 87 86 83
#17 (tie) Loudoun County 86 85 83
#27 (tie) Fairfax County 83 83 81
#35 (tie) Culpeper County 83 82 80
#35 (tie) Stafford County 83 82 80
#65 (tie) Prince William County 79 79 76
#74 (tie) Fauquier County 80 78 75
#74 (tie) Orange County 80 78 75
#74 (tie) Spotsylvania County 80 80 75
#92 (tie) Manassas Park 77 75 72
#109 (tie) Manassas 78 74 68
#123 Alexandria 68 66 61
#124 (tie) Fredericksburg 74 67 60

History and Social Sciences

State Rank/School System 2015-2016 Pass Rate 2016-2017 Pass Rate 2017-2018 Pass Rate
#1 Falls Church 95 96 95
#6 (tie) Loudoun County 92 92 91
#19 (tie) Fairfax County 90 90 88
#30 (tie) Orange County 88 88 87
#30 (tie) Prince William County 87 89 87
#36 (tie) Arlington County 88 88 86
#36 (tie) Stafford County 89 88 86
#61 (tie) Fauquier County 87 85 83
#61 (tie) Spotsylvania County 84 85 83
#65 (tie) Culpeper County 86 84 82
#74 (tie) Manassas Park 82 78 81
#114 (tie) Alexandria 77 76 75
#114 (tie) Manassas 80 77 75
#125 Fredericksburg 81 76 71

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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