Arlington's students have again given administrators something to brag about.
Arlington Public Schools and the Virginia Department of Education released the 2013 Standards of Learning results on Tuesday, and Arlington students outperformed the state average by 1 to 15 percentage points in nearly every category.
Arlington students beat the state average in 31 of 33 of the statewide results, and tied the state average in one other (End of Course Reading). Arlington students were slightly below the state average in End of Course Science.
Perhaps the biggest differentiation came in mathematics. Fourth-grade students outperformed the state average by 10 points, and fifth-graders beat the state average by 15. Arlington's End of Course Algebra II scores were better than the statewide average by 10 points.
The first goal of Arlington Public Schools' strategic plan "focuses on ensuring that every student is challenged and engaged, emphasizing that a core set of standards-based concepts and competencies form the foundation of what all students learn," according to a news release.
“As we continue to focus on the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan, these results serve as a barometer for our work and progress at this point. It is clear that our instructional team is working to meet these higher standards to ensure that our students master the new, more challenging expectations. While work remains to ensure that all students are succeeding at all levels, these results are encouraging," Superintendent Pat Murphy said in a statement.
“Next year, based on current enrollment, we will have 72% of our 8th graders on track to complete Algebra I or above before entering high school. This marks our second year in a row with a 10 percentage point enrollment increase over the previous year. At the same time, we are also seeing a 95% pass rate on the middle school Algebra I SOL results.”
He added: “We believe these are pivotal steps in preparing our students for higher levels of achievement in high school mathematics and providing them with a gateway to greater post-secondary educational options.”
Over the past three school years, Arlington and schools statewide have added more rigorous standards in history, math, English and science.