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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Bills to reduce SOL tests sent to governor

Monday, March 17, 2014


Three bills that would reduce the number of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests for Virginia students have been sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for consideration.

SB270 would require only math and English reading SOL tests for third-graders, eliminating the tests in science and social studies.

"We support reducing the overall number of SOLs our students have to take," said Dr. Mark Church, superintendent of Franklin County schools, earlier this year. "By eliminating the science and history at grade three and focusing on reading and math during the lower elementary years, it should give our students a strong base on which to build." 

SB306 and HB930, identical bills after amendments to the originals, would limit the number of SOL tests to 17 in grades three through eight. Currently, students take 22 SOL tests between the third and eighth grades.

The legislation states that the following SOL tests will be administered: reading and math in grades three and four; reading, math and science in grade five; reading and math in grades six and seven; reading, writing, math and science in grade eight; and Virginia Studies and civics and economics once each at the grade levels deemed appropriate by each local school board.

School boards would be required to certify that instruction is provided and alternative assessments are performed for each subject in which an SOL test is not administered.

A current list of SOL tests is listed below:

•3rd Grade: English, science, math and social studies.

•4th Grade: English and math.

•5th Grade: English, science, math, social studies and writing.

•6th Grade: English, math and social studies.

•7th Grade: English, math and social studies.

•8th Grade: English, math, science, social studies (civics) and writing.

•9th-12th Grades: English reading, English writing, earth science, biology, chemistry, algebra 1, algebra 2, geometry, world history I, world history II and Virginia/ U.S. history.

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