The raw SOL pass rates are misleading and unfair to Richmond and the other divisions with large populations of “economically disadvantaged” (“ED”) students. Overall, ED students pass the SOLs at a rate about 20% lower than their more affluent (“Not ED”) peers. Thus, the average pass rates are lowered for the divisions with more ED students. In Richmond, with about 2/3 ED students, the hit is particularly large.
So let’s look at both the ED and Not ED data. To start, here are the reading pass rates by year for the state and for Richmond:
We’ll compare Richmond to the other divisions in the next post. For now, just notice that Richmond’s Not ED rate is below the 75% nominal accreditation level and 14.6 points below the state average while it’s ED rate is below 50%, 17.25 points below the Virginia average.
The average reading pass rates dropped this year, especially in Richmond.
The math data paint a more interesting picture. The Board changed the test this year and relaxed the scoring, presumably as part of an ongoing effort to reach Lake Woebegone status. That helped a lot statewide; in Richmond, not so much.
Notice that Richmond’s Not ED math pass rate this year was below the Virginia ED rate.
For the writing data, I had to change the y-axis range to accommodate the Richmond ED numbers.
The Richmond Not ED numbers improved this year; that improvement was swamped, however, by the continued slide of the ED pass rate.
The history and Social Science numbers continued a downward course.
Especially in Richmond.
The science pass rates nearly held steady this year.
It probably is too soon to hope that our new Superintendent might have started to improve Richmond’s dismal numbers. Any hope that he might have just broken even is now seen to have been futile.