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Increased rigor expected to result in lower SOL math scores


Mathews School Superintendent Dr. David Holleran discussed the nature of the new Virginia Standards of Learning tests during his monthly report to the board of supervisors on May 28.

Holleran said the new math tests are much more difficult than previous SOL tests, and that the state expects that many schools won’t pass the tests because of the changes.

"They’ve amped the rigor up to almost college level," he said, adding that tests in some instances generated a pass rate of 92 percent before the change and 14 percent afterward. He said third and fourth graders across the state are spending as much as seven hours taking a 40-question test.

"We’re doing everything we can to help the kids," he said.

Questioned by supervisor Neena Putt about the tests, Holleran explained that the new math tests place a lot of emphasis on higher-level thinking skills and require that students not simply choose A, B, C or D but that they work out problems with multiple st...

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