Standards of Learning - Controversy


The initial creation of the SOLs caused extensive debate around both the validity of the tests and the administration of the process. Debate became more heated by the Department of Education's and the Secretary of Education's refusal to reveal information about tests or how the tests were created. The Department of Education was concerned that releasing actual tests would encourage "teaching to the test," while parents and educators were concerned that tests would be poorly written and not test the targeted subject material.

Because teachers and administrators are evaluated based on students' SOL performance, there has also been concern that teachers will focus their teaching on SOL subject matter and omit much of the overall learning that is necessary in school.

On February 1, 2010, President Barack Obama announced a comprehensive review and evaluation of the existing No Child Left Behind law that drives the SOLs in Virginia. The news release explains that President Obama seeks to find a better way to judge schools, evaluate student growth and schools’ progress, and implement a better program focused on incentives and rewards. This evaluation will address many of the concerns and much of the controversy surrounding the NCLB law and will ultimately impact how the Commonwealth of Virginia administers the SOL tests.

Read more about this topic:  Standards Of Learning

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