Friday, March 21, 2008

Academic Performance in Tazewell County, Va. (and the Absence of Real Reasons to Close Pocahontas High School)

Note: Visit my education blog, The Green Cup

If we were to have a sane, rational data-driven discussion in Tazewell County about how our schools are doing, academically, a couple of things would become clear.

  1. The high school with the best academic scores in the county (as measured by the Virginia Standards of Learning test) is Graham High School.
  2. Pocahontas High School's SOL scores are significantly better than the scores at Tazewell High School, and (when taken as a whole) not much different than the sightly better scores at Richlands High School.
  3. The middle school with the best SOL scores in the county is Graham Middle School.
  4. The middle school grades at Pocahontas are doing quite acceptably - significantly better than Richaldns Middle School or Tazewell Middle school.
The conclusions is simple: there's no academic justification for closing Pocahontas High School. It would be easier to justify closing Tazewell Middle School or Richlands Middle School for academic reasons.

Middle School
SOL Scores
Math 673573738
Reading 691898277
Math 752585053
Reading 771887077
Math 873848178
Reading 886928181
Writing 886919291
So, how do I know that SOL scores at Pocahontas are qualitatively different than Tazewell High, Tazewell Middle, or Richlands Middle? I know because the Commonwealth of Virginia say so. You see, Pocahontas is fully accredited by the state, while THS, TMS, and RMS are not.

You can read erport cards on any school in the state right here. But to make life a little easier, I've put together a little chart for you...

2006-07 SOL Scores
for Tazewell County
High Schools

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