SOL Results Show Learning Loss During COVID-19

The Standards of Learning results from last school year indicate substantial learning loss for Loudoun County students, who spent the past year and a half in distance and hybrid learning environments. 

Reading scores in the district for all students indicated a 79% pass rate, down from an 84% pass rate in 2019, the last time the tests were administered. Math scores in the district saw a more significant drop-off, with only 64% of test takers passing, compared to 2019’s 87% pass-rate.

Parents have the option to opt out of their children taking the SOL’s. The test was not administered during the 2019-2020 school year because of the pandemic. According to the state’s Department of Education, typically 99% of students participate in the testing. Last year, though, only 75.5% of students took the reading assessment, 78.7% took math, and 80% took science.

The categories that saw the largest increase in failure rates were math scores among economically disadvantaged students and among Hispanic students, with failure rates nearly doubling since the 2018-2019 testing. 

Compared to students in other districts across the commonwealth, Loudoun’s learners fared relatively well. Statewide, 69% of test takers passed the reading exams, 54% passed mathematics and 59% passed science.

“Virginia’s 2020-2021 SOL test scores tell us what we already knew: students need to be in the classroom without disruption to learn effectively,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said in a statement. “We must now focus on unfinished learning and acceleration to mitigate the impact the pandemic has had on student results.”

The state department of education attributes the lower pass rates in part to few students retaking the tests. Typically, students who fail by a small margin are permitted to retake their tests.

At the district level, the scoring is used as a barometer for teachers to understand what their students know as they begin a new school year—and where there are areas of weaknesses. Loudoun County also uses data from its own Measures of Academic Progress testing, which is conducted three times a year. This year’s MAP testing will begin as soon as next week for some students. 

State officials will use the data to inform initiatives and direct funds to programs that will help students make up lost ground, such as funding increased in-person and small-group instruction.

Additionally, some students will take a fall SOL for the first time this year.

10 thoughts on “SOL Results Show Learning Loss During COVID-19

  • 2021-08-26 at 2:58 pm

    The (D)s don’t want to educate children any more. They want to indoctrinate. And persecute. And get cozy with the unions.

    The children deserve better.
    The parents deserve better.
    The taxpayers deserve better.

  • 2021-08-26 at 3:13 pm

    “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”

    If only the school board and the Industrial Education Complex cared about kid’s education, rather than their creepy extremist political agenda.

  • 2021-08-26 at 4:14 pm

    Homeschool your children and avoid this nightmare. It does require some effort and creativity but saving your children from the likes of Beth Barts and Scott Ziegler is worth the effort.

  • 2021-08-26 at 4:28 pm

    “only 64% of test takers passing”

    That is an unmitigated disaster. But, we are supposed to feel better because, statewide, only 54% passed. Almost half of Virginia’s public school kids can’t PASS a math test!

    Public education is a slow moving train wreck that has failed children and adults for decades. We need school vouchers to enable parents to make better choices for their children. Public school clearly isn’t functioning at a very basic level.

  • 2021-08-26 at 5:24 pm

    That learning loss is for government schools, not private or home school.

  • 2021-08-26 at 7:50 pm

    You mean to tell us that kids that were forced to learn virtually with possibly no assistance at home or poor internet service learned less that past classes. That cant be possible. Let’s try that again this school year, I have confidence that the scores will double now that the LCSB has figured this all out.

  • 2021-08-26 at 9:42 pm

    My daughter finished up her time in LCPS with almost no teaching taking place. Each day, she would tell us about a teacher’s rant about COVID, or politics, or whatever personal struggles they were having- but no actual teaching.
    There were many days she would log into her class only to have the teacher say “that’s enough for today” after 15 minutes of either technical difficulty or just plain lethargy on the teacher’s part. I feel sorry for kids like my daughter who have to go off to college and actually try to learn after a year and a half of no real learning.

  • 2021-08-27 at 6:44 am

    A few points to remember:

    1. Virginia has the lowest standards in the nation for such statewide tests. This shows how precariously close to failing so many of our kids are under LCPS.

    2. Teachers laughably claimed last year students were excelling online and there would be little to no drop off. This demonstrates teachers are either completely incompetent when it comes to assessing students outside objective tests or lying. Or both. But you cannot trust a single word that comes out of a teacher’s mouth about how much kids are learning or how effective that teacher is

    3. Kids need school 5 days per week, not just 4 (M-Th), regardless how much lazy teachers want off on Mondays! Teachers wanted virtual snow days. They wanted bonuses. Everything but actually time in class to do their jobs -> TEACH!!

    4. This school board and the admins couldn’t care less about kids as long as they get their massive raises, bonuses and extra vacation. Ziegler and the SB gave senior admins $1000s in bonuses for this performance?!!! He gave all admins (who are supposed to work regular work years) an extra 5 days of vacation for “admin spring break”?!! Not analyzing student data. Not identifying effective curricula or lesson plans. Spring break. And both admins and teachers have received exorbitant raises while our students suffer.

    The teachers union, led by the clueless Denise Corbo on the SB, and their political lackeys in office must go. Better yet, give vouchers to kids/parents so they can find teachers and admins who want to actually teach and care about students. LCPS is the worst run and least effective bureaucracy you could possibly imagine.

  • 2021-08-29 at 2:51 pm

    The NEA took a very public stance against standardized testing earlier this year.

    It’s as if they know their members are failing to teach.

  • 2021-09-02 at 11:41 am

    Where oh where are all the rabid LCPS supporters after this revelation?

    C’mon, surely you all can muster up a decent gaslighting campaign to tell us the data isn’t what it is. That Loudoun’s children are being taught to a high standard. That Loudoun’s taxpayers are receiving excellent value for the BILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS that go into the LCPS machine.

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