- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2000

Fifteen Fairfax County, Va., schools made significant progress on standardized tests taken this year, Superintendent Daniel A. Domenech said yesterday.
Five high schools and a middle school surpassed a county goal for improvement. Nine elementary schools also achieved higher marks.
"Some of these schools have made extraordinary gains," Mr. Domenech said in a statement at a Fairfax County public schools leadership conference.
The schools' performance was hand calculated by the Fairfax County schools' testing office, using data from Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Final test results for the standardized tests will be released by the Virginia Department of Education in mid-August, county schools officials said.
The final results could show that "more schools did better than expected," said Paul Regnier, a county schools spokesman.
The six schools had met or exceeded the county's goals for the tests, called the Schoolwide Achievement Index (SAI), Mr. Domenech said.
The SAI, a measure of school achievement based on student scores on the Standards of Learning and Stanford 9 tests, "is our own system for calculating how well schools are doing," Mr. Regnier said.
Both tests are required by the state.
The goal is an average gain of three points on the SAI for high schools and five points for middle and elementary schools in the four core-curriculum areas: English and reading, math, science, and history and social science.
The schools that exceeded their SAI goals for 1999-2000 school year include Centreville, Edison, McLean, Oakton and West Springfield high schools and Lake Braddock Secondary School. Final results could show that more schools had exceeded the SAI goals, Mr. Regnier said.
Edison High School had performed "exceptionally," showing an average gain of 8.5 points, he said, adding that scores for some of the other five schools were, however, higher.
A look at data on the 20 elementary schools identified as Project Excel schools showed that nine had performed "extremely well," he said. Project Excel schools, identified as such because they were among the poorest performers in the county on tests, are provided additional resources by the county for focused instructional programs and computer-based phonics instruction, among other things.
Of the 20 schools, Pine Springs Elementary performed the best, posting an average increase of 15 points.

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