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Students will soon need fewer SOLs to graduate

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Students will soon need fewer SOLs to graduate

Aniyah Lewis

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Beginning with the class of 2022, students will no longer need as many verified SOL requirements in order to graduate. For those seeking an advanced diploma the requirement is reduced from nine to five, and from six to five for those working towards a standard diploma.

“The requirement is being ‘lowered’ to reflect that education is more than just passing a test. I use quotation marks around lowered because I don’t think of it as lowering. I think of it as being assessed authentically,” states Dr. James Avila, Principal.

As of October 2015, Virginia has been revising the SOAs (Standards of Accreditation) to better measure individual student growth. In the past, schools were evaluated solely based off of achievement of standardized tests, however, the new system exists to recognize student’s strides toward proficiency.

Perhaps in the future educators may have more autonomy with regards to standardized testing. “I think that teachers are best suited to create their own proficiency based tests. SOLs are cumulative, and they’re proficiency based, but they don’t always line up perfectly with what skills are being taught in the classroom,” states School Improvement Specialist, Mr. Shaheen Soorani.

It is no longer just a pass or fail scenario and schools will not be judged on that fallacy. To best reflect the 5Cs: creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship, schools can be granted one of three ratings of accreditation: Accredited, Accredited with Conditions, and Accreditation Denied.

“In the place of SOL tests, students will most likely take an authentic performance-based assessment. We have some in place already, such as the CWRA plus. School divisions will most likely be able to create their own performance-based assessments, such as a senior project or another cumulative project that demonstrates the 5Cs,” states Dr. Avila.

There has been an emphasis on improvement and some students believe it couldn’t come soon enough.

“It’s not fair!,” states Jada Bennet, 11th grade student, “because after all this time we’ve spent in high school they finally realized it’s not working out.”

Below are the stories featured in Volume 3, Issue 3 of The Roaring Gazette.

Students will soon need fewer SOLs to graduate by Aniyah Lewis

2018 Leadership Workshop coming soon! by Cassidy O’Neal

Marching Lions receive a Superior rating by Sotiria Bessinas

The Great Tallwood Divide: Has the academy split Tallwood in two? by Noelani Stachurski

Meet a Lion: Mrs. Yuzhbabenko by Chris Purkiss

Lion Voices: What would you change about Tallwood? by Frances Summers

Teachers’ homework policies vary by Frances Summers

CIEE offers great travel opportunities for students by Bethany Hansel

Ms. Adams is here for all your school store needs by Ashley Archila-Ventura

The homework surplus by Finley Brakke

Virginia schools must aim to teach ALL students by Marissa Goodall

“Jigsaw” a disapointing entry in the “Saw” series by Ashley Malinson

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1 Comment

One Response to “Students will soon need fewer SOLs to graduate”

  1. Amanda Linch on November 15th, 2017 9:47 am

    I love that the school system is finally focusing on education rather that a letter or number grade on a list of millions of others. I just wish it would come sooner so the graduating classes are not as pressured with senior projects and things.

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