Hope SOLs serve as wake-up call

Published 8:56 am Friday, August 17, 2012

It’s troubling to see Western Tidewater schools struggle with tougher Standards of Learning tests in math.

Throughout the area, schools saw a double-digit drop in math scores in almost every subject. The one exception was Franklin High School where 58 percent of the students passed the geometry state test compared to 52 percent last year.

While improvement is good, it’s troubling that scores in geometry were so low.

To compare, 93 percent of the students at Southampton High School passed the geometry last year; 50 percent passed this year.

Sixth-three percent of Windsor students passed geometry this year compared to 84 percent one year earlier.

The schools saw at least a 19 percent drop in every other math subject this year.

We’ve heard administrators and school board members complain that the state didn’t give staff members the resources or the training to properly prepare for the new math tests, and that may be true, but our schools are still ranked behind the state averages in Algebra I and geometry. Only Windsor averaged better than the state, with 72 percent of students passing the algebra II test; the statewide average was 69 percent.

We hear the tests in English and science are supposed to be tougher next year. We hope this year’s math scores serve as a wake-up call to schools, and that state school officials better prepare teachers for these tests.