The results from the Virginia Standard of Learning test were just released and after looking at how different counties performed, NBC12 noticed something in Henrico.
Most of the schools located on the western side did far better in reading and writing compared to the eastern part of the county. Keep in mind, Henrico wasn't the only school district with low reading and writing scores; was the same for many schools across the Commonwealth.
The lower scores were expected because the Virginia Department of Education says the reading and writing tests are much harder this year. But NBC12 took a closer look at the numbers, particularly in Henrico County at the elementary and middle school levels.
NBC12 found the western districts like Tuckahoe and Three Chopt did well with passing rates in the 70 to 90-percent range. But as you travel east, there is a drastic change. The passing rate drops to the 50 to 60 percent range for most schools in the Fairfield and Varina area.
"I'm not going to offer any excuses," says Henrico School Board member Lamont Bagby. He represents the Fairfield district. Bagby says his initial reaction wasn't alarm, but concern that more needs to be done.
"Whatever disadvantages may exist can be overcome and that's been proven at a number of our schools," he said.
Take a look at this example:
In 2011 to 2012, Adams Elementary in Fairfield had a passing rate of 97-percent for grade four in Reading. But on the most recent test, the passing rate for grade four dropped to 39-percent. Compare that to Shady Grove Elementary in Three Chopt. In 2011 to 2012, it also had a passing rate of 98-percent for grade four in Reading. The most recent results show there wasn't much change with the more difficult test. This year's passing rate for grade four was 90-percent.
Henrico school leaders say it's too early to offer an explanation, but low SOL score at any school is a subject they are constantly working on.
"When you look at the data it points directly to where we need to provide more support, and that doesn't always mean additional financial resources it could mean a number of things," says Bagby.
In Math, most Henrico schools at all levels did better than last year. And overall, the county performed well in other subjects compared to other counties.
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