The exploding failure rate comes despite a decade of steady academic
gains and overall passing rates close to or exceeding 90 percent
statewide and throughout much of Northern Virginia. But under
NCLB, the target passing rates for standardized tests increase each year
in an effort to meet the federal law’s goal of 100 percent proficiency
in reading and math by 2013.
Since No Child Left Behind was made law in 2001, school systems have been fighting to meet increasingly higher passing rates on Standards of Learning tests in reading and math. This year, the task was made more difficult by changes in the passing requirements, known as Adequate Yearly Progress.
Average scores on Virginia's Standards of Learning math exams rose slightly and reading performance remained static in the 2009-10 school year, but the vast majority of public schools across the state failed to meet new performance benchmarks for graduation rates and for students with disabilities, according to results released Thursday by the state Department of Education.
Officials in Fairfax County sparred Tuesday over the funding provided to programs for the area's neediest schoolchildren, with Board of Supervisors members accusing public school officials of not considering the impact program changes would have on the students.