Martinsville, Roanoke County among local school districts with rising SOL passing rates

Educators said despite the rise, SOL passing rates are still not back to what they were pre-pandemic

How school's in our area performed, and if they're at pre-pandemic levels

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – While students and teachers are preparing for the new school year, the Virginia Department of Education is reflecting on last year’s Standard of Learning test results, which were released Thursday afternoon.

Virginia’s State Superintendent Jillian Balow said the state’s overall passing scores are up from the 2020 - 2021 school year, but she said they still aren’t back to what they were pre-pandemic.

“In no way should these scores be the baseline for student performance,” said Balow.

Martinsville City Schools made strides in their SOL passing rates.

Specifically, in math, the number of students who passed their SOL went up by 29%.

But Martinsville’s Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley said there is still room to improve.

“We didn’t suffer as much learning loss as we thought we might,” Talley said.

“We plan to pick up where we left off and just continue to raise that bar. There is no going backward for us. We believe in acceleration and not remediation,” said Talley.

Roanoke County Public Schools also saw a jump in their reading and math SOL results.

Director of Assessment and Research Benjamin Williams attributes the growth to the district’s recent investments.

“We are spending more than we ever have on tutoring,” said Williams. “We’ve added middle school reading specialists to improve our reading school results. We’ve added math specialists to assist at the elementary level.”

The Department of Education said another takeaway from these SOL results is the importance of students being in the classroom.

“Research is becoming clearer and clearer students whose schools were closed for in-person instruction suffered the most. Being in-person for school matters,” said Balow.

View more SOL results on the Virginia Department of Education’s website.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.