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Students excel on SOLs, but AYP is elusive for school divisions

Many area students performed extremely well on their Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Even still, no area school division—Prince William, Fauquier county, Manassas City nor Manassas Park—achieved all the benchmarks required to earn the national Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standard. They were in line with 124 other school divisions that failed to make AYP. Only four school divisions as a whole achieved AYP, which requires not only high numbers of students to pass the math and reading SOLs, but that certain groups of students meet SOL pass rates, graduation and attendance rates as well.

Prince William students achieved an 87 percent pass rate on the Standards of Learning tests and 89 percent of students in the county passed the math SOLs, according to a county school system statement.

At first glance, these numbers would appear to put Prince William schools in the AYP achievement category. To achieve AYP, as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school divisions must have 86 percent for reading and 85 percent for mathematics, according to Prince William County Schools. However, there are also

In the statement, Steven L. Walts, Prince William’s school superintendent, said, “making AYP, as currently defined by the [No Child Left Behind] legislation, has become extremely difficult due to the benchmarks being moved up over time, we continue to embrace our mission of providing a world-class education to all of our students.”

Twenty Prince William schools, including Samuel L. Gravely and Westridge elementary schools, achieved AYP; four Fauquier schools, including Liberty High School, attained that rating.

Weems Elementary was the only Manassas City school to earn AYP; no Manassas City schools achieved AYP.

Information on individual schools and division ratings are on the Virginia Department of Education website:

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