The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, September 28, 2012
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Franklin County is among 85 school divisions out of 132 in Virginia that are fully accredited for the 2012-13 school year, according to the Virginia Department of Education (VDE).
The results, which were released Wednesday, are based on student performance on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other state assessments during 2011-2012.
"We are very proud of what our students, teachers and principals do every year," said Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction for Franklin County schools. "This (full accreditation) is a testament to their hard work and dedication."
Ninety-six percent of Virginia's elementary schools and 88 percent of middle schools are fully accredited for the 2012-2013 school year.
In elementary schools (grades 3-5), requirements for full accreditation include a combined pass rate of 70 percent on English tests, 70 percent in math, grade-5 science and grade-5 history, and pass rates of at least 50 percent in grade-3 science and grade-3 history.
In middle and high schools, a pass rate of 70 percent in all four subject areas (English, mathematics, history and science) is required for full accreditation, according to the VDE.
The percentage of fully accredited high schools in Virginia rose to 90 percent, 4 percent higher than last year, when the Board of Education introduced a "graduation and completion index" into the accountability formula for high schools, according to the VDE.
According to the index, a high school will be awarded a full credit for students who earn a board-recognized diploma. A partial credit will be awarded for students who earn a GED and students who are still enrolled and expected to return to high school for a fifth year. High schools must have a graduation and completion index of at least 85 to earn full accreditation, according to the VDE.
The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2012-2013 is three points lower than the percentage for last year.
"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 2022-2012," said Patricia I. Wright, superintendent of Public Instruction with the VDE. "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."
"Franklin County has maintained its fully accredited status for years," added Pennington. "Though it is becoming increasingly more difficult due to the more difficult math tests and the upcoming, more rigorous English and science tests, our teachers and principals will continue their daily efforts to make sure our students are ready."