September 27, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
All Schools Fully Accredited in 69 Divisions
Ninety-one percent of Virginia public schools are fully accredited and meeting state standards for student achievement in English, mathematics, history/social science and science based on 2006-2007 assessment results, the Virginia Department of Education announced today.
"For the third consecutive year, nine out of ten public schools are meeting Virginia's rigorous standards for achievement across the curriculum," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr. "This level of achievement has been sustained by the hard work of thousands of educators and an unwavering commitment to high expectations for all children."
Students in 1,686 of the commonwealth's 1,843 schools met or exceeded state achievement objectives on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other statewide assessments in the four core academic areas last year. The percentage of schools meeting or exceeding state accreditation standards was unchanged from the previous year. Ninety-six percent of Virginia's elementary schools and 97 percent of the commonwealth's high schools are now fully accredited.
Sixty-nine percent, or 218, of Virginia's 314 middle schools are fully accredited. This includes 19 middle schools that are now fully accredited that last year were warned only in mathematics. Mathematics achievement increased in 275 middle schools during 2006-2007.
"Virginia's expectations for achievement in mathematics are challenging – especially in the middle grades as students prepare for algebra and geometry," said Dr. Cannaday. "Teachers are working hard to help students master the knowledge and critical-thinking skills that are assessed on the grade-level mathematics tests introduced two years ago, and I am confident that their efforts will result in more middle schools earning full accreditation."
The number of schools accredited with warning decreased to 102, compared with 138 last year. Forty-six schools that were on academic warning last year achieved full accreditation, including 19 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, one high school and two combined schools. Forty-five schools slipped from full accreditation to accredited with warning.
Sixty-nine of the commonwealth's 132 school divisions have no schools on the state's academic warning list, compared with 63 last year. The divisions with all schools fully accredited (other than new schools that automatically receive conditional accreditation) are:
The Board of Education granted conditional accreditation on Wednesday to 28 schools that are in the process of implementing reconstitution plans after not meeting accreditation standards for four consecutive years. Schools that are granted conditional accreditation have three years to raise student achievement to state standards and must apply annually for this rating.
"While these schools again fell short of the requirements for full accreditation, all are making significant changes in staff, governance, instructional program or a combination of these," said Board of Education President Mark Emblidge. "And, in almost all of these schools, student achievement is on the rise."
Reconstituted schools granted conditional accreditation for 2007-2008 include:
Two Sussex County schools, Annie B. Jackson Elementary and Ellen W. Chambliss Elementary, are requesting conditional accreditation for a second consecutive year. The board will act on the requests from Sussex County at its October meeting.
Twenty newly opened schools are automatically rated as conditionally accredited.
Four schools in Petersburg have been denied accreditation for a second consecutive year because of continued low student achievement. These schools (and areas of deficiency) include:
- A.P. Hill Elementary (English, mathematics and science)
- J.E.B. Stuart Elementary (English, mathematics, history/social science and science)
- Peabody Middle (English, mathematics, history/social science and science)
- Petersburg High (Mathematics and science)
A fifth Petersburg school, Vernon Johns Middle, was denied accreditation for the first time because of low achievement in English, mathematics and history/social science.
The accreditation ratings announced today are based on the achievement of students on SOL assessments and approved substitute tests in English, mathematics, history/social science and science administered during the summer and fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007, or on overall achievement during the three most recent academic years. The results of tests administered in each subject area are combined to produce overall passing percentages in English, mathematics, history and science.
In middle schools and high schools, an adjusted pass rate of at least 70 percent in all four subject areas is required for full accreditation. In elementary schools, a combined accreditation pass rate of at least 75 percent on English tests in grades 3-5 is required for full accreditation. Elementary schools also must achieve accreditation pass rates of at least 70 percent in mathematics, grade-5 science and grade-5 history, and pass rates of at least 50 percent in grade-3 science and grade-3 history.
Accreditation ratings may reflect adjustments made for schools that successfully remediate students who previously failed reading or mathematics tests. Adjustments also may be made for students with limited English proficiency and for students who have recently transferred into a Virginia public school.