SOL scores: Ressie Jeffries sees increase in English scores

More than 75 percent of Ressie Jeffries Elementary School students passed the English standards of learning test for the first time in over four years, according to state test results released on Wednesday.

The results support previous assertions from Warren County Public Schools superintendent Greg Drescher that the school’s test results will likely allow it to reach a standard of full accreditation after having its accreditation denied last year.

But several other district schools saw their test results decline from recent years. With the exception of Ressie Jeffries, all of the elementary schools saw their test results drop from last year in math and English.

E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, for instance, saw its English scores decline to a 57 percent pass rate, from a 63 percent pass rate the previous year. Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School saw its English scores decline to 67 percent, from 74 percent last year. Its math scores fell to a 64 percent pass rate, and its science scores fell to a 55 percent pass rate, down from last year’s results of 79 percent and 74 percent, respectively.

Those drops follow a trend across the state. The average test results were lower this year than they were last year in every subject at the elementary school level.

In the high schools, meanwhile, both saw improvements to their English scores. Skyline High School had worse results in history and math than it did last year, and Warren County High School’s history results were lower this year than they were last year.

The two middle schools were both rated as new schools and do not have previous results available.

Drescher declined to comment, stating in an email that he could not review the data on Wednesday.

What those declining scores will mean for the schools’ accreditation status is unclear. The Virginia Department of Education revised its accreditation standards last year to focus less exclusively on test results.

In addition to test scores, the new standards rate schools based on their absenteeism rates, their student achievement gaps, their dropout rates and the career, college and civic readiness of their students.

Schools also receive a boost in their achievement scores when students show growth in their test performance in English, even if the students do not pass the test. Elementary schools and middle schools are also rated in a similar metric in math, but high schools are not.

The district’s economically disadvantaged students performed worse on average in the tests than the student population as a whole. How large those achievement gaps were varied by school and by subject, but the gaps were consistent across the board.