Virginia Gets New Standardized Tests for Schools, and No Money to Implement Them

April 28, 2014

Thousands of Virginia public school students are trying out a new kind of online Standards of Learning test this year that education officials say is proving to be a more efficient exam, offering more precise and valuable information about each student.

The state had planned to roll out the new “adaptive test” across Virginia during the next three years, but a reduction in funding associated with the General Assembly’s decision to eliminate five of the state’s 22 standardized tests is delaying that effort.

Virginia Board of Education members say they are frustrated that a law intended to reform the SOL tests is derailing the movement, already underway, to improve the state assessment program.

Board member James H. Dillard, a former House of Delegates member from Fairfax County, last week likened the new law to “a train going about 75 miles an hour into the station, and there was no stopping it.” With all that momentum, he said, the bill lacked “proper forethought.”

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