0
Votes

Tougher Tests Cause Alexandria Scores to Plunge

School officials say more rigorous standards are to blame.

The Alexandria Public Schools central office on Beauregard Street.

The Alexandria Public Schools central office on Beauregard Street. Photo by Michael Lee Pope.

Test scores are down across Alexandria. But school officials say that doesn't necessarily mean students are doing worse. It means that the tests have gotten harder.

"That's a trend across the state with the new more rigorous assessment," said Clinton Page, executive director of the Department of Accountability. "So a comparison of this year's past percents to years previous really is not a valid comparison."

Last year, the state released a new mathematics standards of learning test that's more rigorous in an effort to align it with new national standards. That caused math scores to plummet. Now the same thing has happened to reading, science and writing tests. As a result, school officials say, the falling test scores reflect a new testing regime rather than a decline in performance of Alexandria's students.

"This is the start of what will amount to a new trend line in reading, science and writing similar to mathematics," said Page. "So we're in year two of mathematics, but we are in the first year of the other new assessments."

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

* Charles Barrett Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 77 percent (up)

Grade 3 Math: 70 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 90 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 85 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 80 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 65 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 83 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 84 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 85 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 89 percent (up)

* Cora Kelly Magnet Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 69 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 53 percent (down)

Grade 3 History: 82 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 72 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 74 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 92 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 69 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 60 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 87 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 68 percent (down)

* Douglas MacArthur Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 81 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 72 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 92 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 89 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 82 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 76 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 79 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 78 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 68 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 76 percent (down)

* George Mason Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 80 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 74 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 93 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 93 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 80 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 72 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 78 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 89 percent (up)

Grade 5 Math: 66 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 84 percent (same)

* James K. Polk Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 68 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 62 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 84 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 72 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 61 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 73 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 76 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 68 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 74 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 80 percent (up)

* Jefferson-Houston School

Grade 3 Reading: 46 percent (up)

Grade 3 Math: 47 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 58 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 53 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 22 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 41 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 50 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 42 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 31 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 47 percent (up)

Grade 6 Reading: 35 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 79 percent (up)

Grade 7 Reading: 43 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 46 percent (up)

Grade 8 Reading: 50 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 50 percent (down)

Grade 8 Science: 56 percent (down)

* John Adams Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 67 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 59 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 81 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 82 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 59 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 71 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 65 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 63 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 53 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 65 percent (up)

* Lyles-Crouch Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 76 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 77 percent (down)

Grade 3 History: 95 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 90 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 86 percent (up)

Grade 4 Math: 81 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 75 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 81 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 65 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 79 percent (up)

* Maury Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 72 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 71 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 85 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 87 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 81 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 88 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 85 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 84 percent (same as previous year)

Grade 5 Math: 76 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 75 percent (down)

* Mount Vernon Elementary

Grade 3 Reading: 53 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 59 percent (down)

Grade 3 History: 78 percent (down)

Grade 3 Science: 63 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 52 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 46 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 55 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 53 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 30 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 45 percent (down)

* Patrick Henry Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 59 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 53 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 63 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 63 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 39 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 48 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 41 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 48 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 48 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 44 percent

* Samuel Tucker Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 81 percent (up)

Grade 3 Math: 74 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 88 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 81 percent (up)

Grade 4 Reading: 60 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 71 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 68 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 79 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 63 percent (up)

Grade 5 Science: 78 percent (down)

* William Ramsey Elementary School

Grade 3 Reading: 75 percent (down)

Grade 3 Math: 61 percent (up)

Grade 3 History: 74 percent (up)

Grade 3 Science: 64 percent (down)

Grade 4 Reading: 51 percent (down)

Grade 4 Math: 45 percent (up)

Grade 5 Reading: 52 percent (down)

Grade 5 Writing: 41 percent (down)

Grade 5 Math: 39 percent (down)

Grade 5 Science: 53 percent (down)

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

* Hammond 1

Grade 6 Reading: 53 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 59 percent (up)

Grade 7 Reading: 62 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 47 percent (up)

Grade 8 Reading: 56 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 59 percent (down)

Grade 8 Math: 14 percent (down)

Grade 8 Science: 55 percent (down)

* Hammond 2

Grade 6 Reading: 68 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 63 percent (up)

Grade 7 Reading: 62 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 42 percent (down)

Grade 8 Reading: 60 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 68 percent (down)

Grade 8 Math: 11 percent (down)

Grade 8 Science: 52 percent (down)

* Hammond 3

Grade 6 Reading: 59 percent (down)

Grade 7 Reading: 56 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 37 percent (up)

Grade 8 Reading: 55 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 61 percent (up)

Grade 8 Math: n/a

Grade 8 Science: 52 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 60 percent (up)

* George Washington 1

Grade 6 Reading: 68 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 79 percent (up)

Grade 7 Reading: 70 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 63 percent (up)

Grade 8 Reading: 68 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 71 percent (down)

Grade 8 Math: n/a

Grade 8 Science: 69 percent (down)

* George Washington 2

Grade 6 Reading: 62 percent (down)

Grade 6 Math: 70 percent (up)

Grade 7 Reading: 66 percent (down)

Grade 7 Math: 48 percent (down)

Grade 8 Reading: 62 percent (down)

Grade 8 Writing: 73 percent (down)

Grade 8 Math: n/a

Grade 8 Science: 67 percent (down)

HIGH SCHOOL

* T.C. Williams High School

Reading: 85 percent (down)

Writing: 82 percent (down)

Virginia and U.S. History: 77 percent (same)

World History I: 87 percent (up)

World History II: 70 percent (down)

Algebra I: 53 percent (up)

Algebra II: 73 percent (up)

Geometry: 70 percent (down)

Biology: 68 percent (down)

Chemistry: 72 percent (down)

Earth Science: 69 percent (down)

* Categories listed as "up" indicate test scores have increased compared to last year. Categories listed as "down" indicate scores have declined.