IOW school board comments on SOL

Published 8:41 am Saturday, August 24, 2013

ISLE OF WIGHT—As earlier reported, Isle of Wight County Schools did close to or even better than the state averages in several categories of the 2012-13 Standards of Learning test scores. Two of the school board members gave their thoughts on the results.

“The biggest thing is the math scores increased, said Robert Eley, chairman of the Isle of Wight County School Board. He added that in the year prior, the section for math was made more challenging.

For example, more problems were not just about students picking correct answers in multiple-choice formats, but having to read and think about the questions, which Eley prefers.

While there had been an overall increase in reading scores, there was a decline in Carrsville, Eley said, adding “We’re looking to find out why.

“I was a little disappointed personally about the scores,” he continued. “But I knew from what the Virginia Department of Education had told us, that was to be expected.”

The tests are done online, and he’s learned that some students have had problems with dragging and dropping the answers to the correct place. When that’s done, it counts as a wrong answer.

So, Eley would like to see an increase in computer skills for students. That and the way they learn can make a big difference in score results, he added.

“All in all, I’m pleased,” Eley said, “But there’s always room for improvement.”

In somewhat of a contrast, Hardy District’s Herb DeGroft did not look at what might be considered a positive view.

“Taking a look, needless to say I am not at all satisfied with the results,” said DeGroft.

“I had a conversation with the superintendent and said it creates a real challenge with our instruction staff,” he continued. “It’s definitely disappointing to see those drops across the board.”

DeGroft said that if schools are seeing low achievement during the year or previous one, there’s going to be low results in upcoming tests.

Newport District’s Kent Hildebrand said work has been especially busy and he’s not had enough to time to review and offer an opinion.

Smithfield District’s Denise Tynes and Windsor District’s Julia Perkins could not be reached for comment.