Elementary, My Dear Bedden

Here we have the SOL pass rates for Richmond’s elementary schools for 2011 to 2017.

For sure, these graphs are cluttered.  The only way to paint a complete picture is to include all the schools on one graph, albeit the resulting information density makes it difficult to follow some schools.  For a nice picture of the recent results at any particular school, see the VDOE page here and put the school name in the search box.

To start: the reading tests.  The schools in the legend are sorted by the 2017 pass rate.


Nice improvement this year at Redd and Mason; nicer still at Stuart (24%!).  Problems at Carver and Francis.

The new English tests in 2013 hit most of the schools quite hard.  Some have recovered; many have not.

Our star performer, Carver, has slid (Dizzy Dean would have said “slud”) to fourth place.

History and Social Sciences did not have a new test to lower the scores but too many of our schools found a way to slide anyhow.


Big gains here at Stuart (28%), Patrick Henry (25%), and Ginter Park (21%).  Chimborazo, Swansboro, Cary, and Westover Hills all went the other way.

Next math.  The new tests came in 2012; a number of schools suffered a further hit in 2013, perhaps because of fallout from the new English and science tests that year.


Stuart was the big gainer here (after a similar loss the year earlier).  Carver, Francis, Westover Hills, and Bellevue led the losers.

Next, science.


2013 was the year of the new, tougher tests

I didn’t have the heart to expand the axis to include Woodville’s 82% failure rate in 2017.  But that was from a mere 3% drop in the pass rate: Westover Hills fell 24% and Oak Grove 20%, with Francis, Ginter Park, and Southampton all more than 10%.

Finally, the four subject average.


Stuart was the big gainer here at +17%, followed by Blackwell at 10%.  Westover Hills dropped 14%; Carver, 12%; Swansboro, 11%; and Francis, 10%.

For the view from thirty thousand feet, here are the averages of the elementary school pass rates:


The accreditation benchmark is 75 for English, 70 for the other subjects.  So we see the average of the Richmond elementary schools not only declines on every subject but reading; it flunks on every subject but Hist & SS.

But if you think this is bad (and it is), wait for the middle school numbers, up next.