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Va. education workgroup recommends revisions to state educational testing

A state-led work group is recommending Virginia revise its Standards of Learning tests as part of broader plans to restructure the state’s system of assessing students and schools.

The work group, which included Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera and Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons, was created by legislation known as House Bill 585, which charged it with recommending changes to the state’s assessment system and developing an implementation plan prior to the 2027-28 school year.

The report issued Monday “illuminates the actions we must take to advance student outcomes, improve access to quality and timely information for parents, students, and the public, and restore excellence for Virginia students,” Guidera said in a statement.

Virginia students saw sharp declines in test scores during and after the pandemic. Data from the Virginia Department of Education shows that 2022-23 pass rates on the SOLs, the primary tests used by the state to assess student learning and achievement, remained unchanged compared to the previous year. Pass rates also remained below pre-pandemic levels.

Overall, the work group report calls for “clearer and more rigorous Standards of Learning; more rigorous assessment items; more timely, clear, and actionable reporting; improved system coherence; and innovative assessment design,” Guidera and Coons wrote in a letter to the General Assembly.

Source : Mercury