Ninety-three percent of Virginia’s 1,836 public schools are fully accredited and meeting all state standards for achievement in English, mathematics, history and science – and graduation, in the case of high schools – the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced today.
Ninety-six percent of Virginia’s elementary schools and 88 percent of middle schools are fully accredited for the 2012-2013 school year, based on the performance of students on Standards of Learning (SOL) and other state assessments during 2011-2012.
The percentage of fully accredited high schools rose to 90 percent, compared with 86 percent last year when the Board of Education began including a “graduation and completion index” into the accountability formula for high schools, in addition to student achievement on state tests. The graduation and completion index system awards full credit for students who earn a board-recognized diploma and partial credit for students who earn GEDs and local credentials, as well as for students who are still enrolled and expected to return for a fifth year of high school. High schools must have a graduation and completion index of at least 85 for full accreditation.
The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2012-2013 is three points lower than the percentage that earned the highest rating for 2011-2012.
“This year’s decrease in the percentage of schools meeting the fully accredited rating is attributed, in part, to results of the new college- and career-ready mathematics tests that were first introduced during 2011-2012,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “We can expect a similar impact next year when we see the results of schools implementing more rigorous standards and tests in English and science this school year.”
“Even with three-year averaging, the board’s move to more rigorous standards will continue to present accreditation challenges for many of the commonwealth’s schools,” said Board of Education President David M. Foster.” We are confident, however, that over the long haul our graduates will be better prepared to succeed in college and the work place.”
2012-2013 SOL Accreditation Ratings
|Grade Span||Fully Accredited||Accredited with Warning||Provisionally Accredited||Conditional (New Schools)||Accreditation Denied||To Be Determined|
|Total||1,714 (93%)||100 (5%)||6 (<1%)||9 (<1%)||2 (<1%)||5 (<1%)|
Seven of the 22 high schools accredited with warning had graduation and completion indices below this year’s 81-point benchmark for provisional accreditation. Provisional accreditation will not be available after 2015-2016.
In addition to high school-exit data, the accreditation ratings announced today are based on the achievement of students on SOL assessments and approved substitute tests in English, mathematics, history and science administered during the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, 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 school passing percentages in English, mathematics, history and science. Three-year averaging of mathematics allowed 750 schools to earn the fully accredited status. Seventy-one schools did not achieve full accreditation due to mathematics only.
In middle schools and high schools, a pass rate of at least 70 percent in all four subject areas is required for full accreditation. In elementary schools, a combined pass rate of at least 75 percent on English tests in grades 3-5 is required for full accreditation. Elementary schools also must achieve 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. Beginning with tests administered in 2012-2013, the minimum pass rate for English will rise to 75 percent for all grades, and the pass rates for the other three core areas – at all grade levels – will be 70 percent.
Accreditation ratings also may reflect adjustments made for schools that successfully remediate students who failed reading or mathematics tests during the previous year. Adjustments also may be made for students with limited-English proficiency and for students who have recently transferred into a Virginia public school.
The number of schools accredited with warning rose to 100, compared with 30 last year.
Six schools were “provisionally accredited-warned in graduation” this year compared to 30 last year.
Two schools were denied accreditation this year because of chronically low student achievement:
- Peabody Middle in Petersburg for a seventh consecutive year; and
- Lafayette-Wynona Middle in Norfolk for a third consecutive year.
One school – Ellen W. Chambliss Elementary in Sussex County – earned full accreditation for 2012-2013 after being denied accreditation for three consecutive years. Nine newly opened schools are automatically rated as conditionally accredited for 2012-2013.
The status of five schools is expected to be determined by the Board of Education at its October meeting:
- Albemarle County’s Murray High – which was fully accredited last year – based on alternative accreditation due to a graduating class below 50.
- Alexandria’s Jefferson-Houston Elementary – which was accredited with warning last year – based on its proposed reconstitution plan
- Lindenwood Elementary – which was conditionally accredited last year – based on its continuation of reconstitution plan
- William H. Ruffner Middle – which was accredited with warning last year – based on its proposed reconstitution plan
- Northampton County’s Kiptopeke Elementary in Northampton County – which was conditionally accredited last year – based on its continuation of reconstitution plan
Under Virginia’s SOL accountability program, a school that has been on academic warning for three consecutive years and fails to meet state standards for a fourth consecutive year can apply to the Board of Education for conditional accreditation — if the local school board agrees to reconstitute the school’s leadership, staff, governance or student population. A reconstituted school can retain conditional accreditation for up to three years if it is making acceptable progress toward meeting state standards.
In 85 of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions, all schools are fully accredited, compared with 97 last year. Divisions with all schools fully accredited (other than new schools that automatically receive conditional accreditation) are:
Updated accreditation ratings for 2012-2013 for all schools are available on the VDOE website.