DISPARITIES AND GAPS

Like all of us, FCPS prefers to celebrate the good news. And in the aggregate, there is considerable good news. Among 12th graders, consider this: 96% of graduates passed SOL Reading;97% passed SOL Writing; 93% passed VA US History SOL; 87% passed Chemistry SOL; 73% pass a mathematics class beyond Algebra 2; 72% passed an AP/IB Course; 67% earned an advanced studies diploma.

Don’t be fooled by these aggregate numbers! When numbers are disaggregated by race and socioeconomic status, there is far less to celebrate and indeed, there is substantial cause for alarm! Consider the chart found below. In every course, in every grade, at every level of achievement — African American, Latino and socioeconomically disadvantaged children lag far behind. That can’t be right.

COTS-Achievement Data Nov 13

Here’s a different view of the FCPS story: 96% of 12th graders passed the reading SOL. But only 92% of African Americans and 91% of Hispanics did. And while 70% of white students and 58% of Asian students achieved passed advance level, only 58% of African American and 31% of Hispanic students did. 87% of students passed the chemistry SOL, but only 72% of AFrican American and 76% of Hispanic students did. When you consider “advanced pass rates,” 32% of white students and 40% of Asian students achieve that level but only 9% of African American, 11% of Hispanic and 10% of socioeconomically disadvantaged students achieved this same level of success. 67% of students received an Advanced Diploma, but only 47% of African American and 46% of Hispanic students did, compared to 74% of white students and 77% of Asian students.

These disparities are unacceptable. These numbers are not “good enough” for COTS kids.

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