By David M. Foster
Virginia schools are at the height of the testing season as students in grades three through 12 take Standards of Learning tests in English, mathematics, history and science. The SOLs, which have been a rite of spring since 1998, measure whether students and schools are meeting the commonwealth’s standards for academic achievement.
The mathematics SOL tests students are taking this year are the first to reflect the increased rigor of the 2009 revision of the commonwealth’s mathematics standards. On the online versions of the new math SOLs, test takers have to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in ways not possible on traditional multiple-choice tests.
Foster, of Arlington, is president of the state board of education.