The Standards of Learning report card is ready — but for parents, it's confusing. Virginia's statewide scores in math improved, but reading and writing test results declined. While some schools in the Shenandoah Valley had dismal numbers, Charlottesville city schools and Albemarle County schools received good marks, exceeding state averages.
Richmond's SOL numbers have described as "alarming and disappointing" by Richmond School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne, while Roanoke, Fairfax and Arlington counties had mixed results.
While confusing, this problem of uneven educational quality is not insurmountable. Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli's plan provides for an APPLES (academics, parents, principals, leaders, educators and students) commission to review the SOL regime and propose alternatives that actually boost learning. Mr. Cuccinelli lists five attainable objectives with emphases on competency-based education and the development of cognitive learning skills, as opposed to rote memorization.
Mr. Cuccinelli understands the problems facing education in Virginia today, and he will incorporate all interested parties in the solutions.