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School leaders praise fewer SOLs

Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

Rebecca Gates

Superintendent Rebecca Gates

Northumberland school officials are pleased with state legislation that aims to reduce the total number of Standards of Learning tests for elementary and middle school students in Virginia public school systems, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
As of March 8, the Virgina House of Delegates and Senate have approved House Bill 930 and Senate Bill 306, both of which lower the amount of SOL assessments that will be taken by grades 3 to 8 from 22 to 17. Students will still take reading and mathematics SOLs each year in elementary and middle school, but will have fewer overall SOL tests in Science and Social Studies. Rebecca Gates, the Superintendent of Northumberland County Schools, pointed out that they would still have to demonstrate to the Virginia Dept. of Education that the schools are testing students in Science and Social Studies, and Northumberland Elementary School Principal Arnette Butler said they will still be teaching the content for which students were tested on the SOL assessments.
In addition to reducing the total number of tests, HB 930 will establish a Standards of Learning Innovation Committee, a group of legislators and stakeholders who would review current SOL practices and recommend the best means of preparing students for future careers.
As of March 18, Gov. Terry McAuliffe…

—Read the full story in the March 19 issue of the Northumberland Echo, on stands now!