Each year for the past 3 years, the Virginia Department of Education has updated their standardized tests known as the Standards of Learning (SOLs).
The SOLs are administered toward the end of the year to all students starting in grade 3. These tests are one way to try to objectively measure the performance of a school.
The intention of the SOLs is to measure how well the school districts are educating the students, so each year, they challenge the kids a little more, and they make the tests a little bit harder.
For example, the overall SOL passing rate* for all of Virginia has gone down the last three years due to the tests getting tougher:
Virginia SOL Passing Rates (last 3 years)
- May 2011 88%
- May 2012 84%
- May 2013 82%
Like the State of Virginia, Fairfax County also has seen it’s passing rates go down, from 92% in 2011 to 84% in 2013.
Fairfax County SOL Passing Rates (last 3 years)
- May 2011 92%
- May 2012 89%
- May 2013 84%
And while most schools in the State have seen their passing rates affected due to the tougher tests, some schools have shown more resistance to their rates dropping.
Some schools are showing more resilience to tougher tests
So, which Fairfax County high schools are proving to be the most resilient to the tougher SOL tests?
Here is a table with high schools in Fairfax County, and their SOL passing rates over the last 3 school years:This content is for members only.
(As a subscriber, you can see a more comprehensive table, with each school’s passing rates by year, as well as the difference in percentage points. If you haven’t subscribed yet, why wait? It’s Free!)
Ranking of The Most SOL test-resilient High Schools in Fairfax County
|SOLs Resilience Rank||High School||School District|
|0||Thomas Jefferson (TJHSST)+||FCPS|
|8||George Mason||Falls Church|
As you can see from the table, we ranked the schools based on how many percentage points they have lost over a 3-year period. The schools that lost fewer points represent the most resilient schools.
What does resilience mean in this context?
To me, a school showing more resilience to the tougher test means that either the school administration is anticipating the tougher tests and preparing their kids for them, or that the kids are being prepared with a solid foundation that isn’t as easily shaken by a more difficult test.
Either way, I venture to say that these schools seem to be doing something right.
To find out more about each High School boundary, including SOL ratings for the middle and elementary schools in each boundary, log in to the Fairfax County Map of School Boundaries.
Log in to the Fairfax County Map of School Boundaries (a.k.a the Affordability Map) to see the location of each of the most UP-TO-DATE boundaries within Fairfax County and to choose your ideal boundary.
When you log in to the Fairfax County Map of School Boundaries, you will find:
- School rankings for schools in each boundary
- UP-TO-DATE School boundaries
- Photos and videos
- Highlights of the area covered by each boundary
- Transportation options
- Statistics about housing
See you on the other side!
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Image by craigCloutier on Flickr
* The SOL test results are published as a percentage of students who passed the test, so the maximum number associated with a result is 100.
+ Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) is not a neighborhood school, but rather a magnet schools with a highly selective admissions process. Learn more about it here: How to get into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology