NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bad News On Education From Virginia

January 27, 1999

Nearly every school in Virginia has flunked its new battery of standardized exams in English, math, science and social studies. Education officials in the state say they had expected bad results because the so-called Standards of Learning tests set high requirements.

  • Statewide, 98 percent of the 1,800 schools failed to measure up in at least one of the four core subject areas that in time will determine whether they maintain or lose their state accreditation.
  • The tests were given last spring in the third, fifth and eighth grades.
  • In addition, high school students took 11 exams covering English and a variety of math and science disciplines.
  • Beginning in 2006, 70 percent of students in a school -- but 50 percent for third graders on the science and history exams -- must pass the exams or the school will face decertification by the state, although schools which have shown progress before then will get a reprieve.

By 2004, students must pass six of the high school exams to graduate.

Source: Randal C. Archibold, "Most Schools Fall Short in New Tests in Virginia," New York Times, January 27, 1999.


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