SOL test scores improve significantly statewide

(WAVY/Rob Rizzo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Virginia’s students did better on standardized tests this year than they did last year.

Across the Commonwealth, students improved scores in math, reading, writing, science and history.

“I am so proud of the dedication shown by teachers, students, and the administrative staff of these schools in pursuing academic success,” Gov. McAuliffe said.

A new law allowed elementary and middle school students to retake Standards of Learning tests, if they failed by just a few points. And students who took the tests again usually showed improvement.

“The legislation that we proposed and that I signed into law not only gives students a second chance, but more importantly, gives them the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the material,” McAuliffe said. “By joining bipartisan legislation with the hard work of local school divisions, we are well on the way to preparing all of our students to succeed in the new Virginia economy.”

2014-2015 Test Administration

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In Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake schools did better than the state average. Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk public schools continue to struggle in some areas. One such school, Jaycox Elementary in Norfolk, is hoping to make academic leaps by getting a jump-start on the new year.

Some students returned to class Monday for a program called “August Ready.” It is a  three-week intensive program created to boost overall academic achievement, with a focus on math, phonics and early literacy.

Photos: August Ready summer school

“It’s a way to get the kids brains actively challenged during the summer, and the kids were excited to come back, and the parents wanted the opportunity for their kids to come back earlier than September 8th,” Assistant Principal Laundrell Gates told WAVY.com.

The program is paid for using Title One funds. Most Jaycox students are living at or below the poverty level. Breakfast, lunch and bus service are provided, but less than half of those who signed up for it actually showed up for the first two days.

“We’re going to start re-advertising the program, with your help, to let parents know it has started and we are ready to begin,” Gates said.

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