Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

April 2019

Department

Environmental Science

Abstract

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) should provide common and equitable standards in public school instruction across schools and districts in the Commonwealth. First implemented in 1995, SOLs also provide minimum proficiencies among Virginia public school students as measured by SOL test scores. Despite common instruction standards and efforts to make per capita federal and state-level funding of public education equitable across districts, many differences exist between school districts in the quality and quantity of resources deployed for public education. In this study, an examination of Science SOL test scores in Virginia revealed general improvement in scores since SOL implementation, but also provided evidence of a plateau in recent years, with wide disparity in scores between schools and school districts. This analysis investigated the relationship of a school district’s size (number of students) and median family income to improvement in Earth Science SOL test scores over the years. While a correlation was not found between population size and improvement in Earth Science SOL scores, analysis of median family income between school districts did indicate better scores for more affluent districts. These results may help inform future revisions of Virginia SOLs and changes in school funding models.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Greg Eaton

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Apr 10th, 12:00 PM

Analysis of Virginia SOL Test Performance by Median Family Income and Population

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) should provide common and equitable standards in public school instruction across schools and districts in the Commonwealth. First implemented in 1995, SOLs also provide minimum proficiencies among Virginia public school students as measured by SOL test scores. Despite common instruction standards and efforts to make per capita federal and state-level funding of public education equitable across districts, many differences exist between school districts in the quality and quantity of resources deployed for public education. In this study, an examination of Science SOL test scores in Virginia revealed general improvement in scores since SOL implementation, but also provided evidence of a plateau in recent years, with wide disparity in scores between schools and school districts. This analysis investigated the relationship of a school district’s size (number of students) and median family income to improvement in Earth Science SOL test scores over the years. While a correlation was not found between population size and improvement in Earth Science SOL scores, analysis of median family income between school districts did indicate better scores for more affluent districts. These results may help inform future revisions of Virginia SOLs and changes in school funding models.