Grade 3 Reading (and not)

The RT-D this morning has a piece on declining third grade reading SOL pass rates and the unpleasant implications of that for our students.

The VDOE database has numbers on the subject.  Here, to start, are the Grade 3 reading pass rate changes this year for Richmond, the state, and the individual Richmond elementary schools.


The 5.36% drop in Richmond certainly has been inflated by institutional cheating, and the end of at least some of it. 

Last year, Carver contributed a (pretty good) 79.75 pass rate to the 74.6 state average; this year, there is no Carver score because of the cheating.  It looks like Fairfield (and perhaps some other schools) got the Word and resumed honest testing this year, resulting in the huge drop at Fairfield (and, probably, some of the smaller drops elsewhere).

We’ll have to wait another year to start to sort that out.

In the meantime, let’s look further into the historical record.  We’ll start with this year’s big gainer (Swansboro) and loser (Fairfield) along with the Richmond and state averages.


We must hope that the improbable increase at Swansboro reflects a genuine improvement.

Next, Woodville (the fourth worst school in Virginia as measured by the 5-subject average) and Munford (Richmond’s best elementary school, #203 from the top school statewide on the 5-subject average).


Woodville has a long way to go but the last three years set a hopeful pattern.

Next, Westover Hills, our neighborhood school, and Patrick Henry, a nearby neighbor.


Finally, our new Superintendent’s neighborhood school, Holton, and a nearby neighbor to it, Ginter Park.


If you’re interested in the history of some other school, email me, john {at} calaf [dot] org, and I’ll ship you the spreadsheet.

Aside:  Notice that the state average this year is 2.6 points below the old benchmark for accreditation in English, 75%.  Seeing the difficulty in improving the schools’ performance (at least as to the older cities’ performance, they admit they don’t know how (Sept. 21, 2016 video starting at 1:48)), the Board of “Education” has changed the rules to make it much easer for a school to be accredited.  They can’t improve learning, so they have turned to fudging the numbers.