ACPS: Closing the Gap in SOLs, Raising All Student Achievement

Alexandria City Public Schools has seen significant progress in closing the achievement gap among all groups of students in Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, while maintaining the huge gains made divisionwide last year.

Over the past three years ACPS has shown considerable gains in the focus areas of reading, science and math across all subgroups, narrowing the achievement gap while raising achievement across ACPS as a whole. ACPS reading pass rates have seen a seven percentage point increase, math a four percentage point increase and science a three percentage point increase over the last three years.

With the increase in performance across all students, individual subgroup data showed even greater rates of improvement within Black and economically disadvantaged student subgroups, which both saw a 10 percentage point increase in reading over the last three years. Hispanic students saw a seven percentage point increase, limited English proficient students a 12 percentage point increase and students with disabilities a six percentage point increase over the same period.

Similar gains were made in both math and science, where Black students increased performance in math by 6 percentage points and science by 10 percentage points. Black students also made gains in all content areas, including writing where they saw a 4 percentage point increase over three years.

Students identified within the economically disadvantaged reporting categories also fared better with increases of six percentage points in science and five in math. Increases in student performances were also demonstrated with students with disabilities in all content areas, although much work still remains remains in this area.

Our goal is to see every student succeed, no matter what their background. The results of our focus on high academic performance through the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan are starting to show. It is clear that we are closing the gap between our historically underperforming students and other students. We will not stop until all groups are performing at high levels,” Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said.

When large gains have been made the previous year, schools can frequently see a drop the following year. However, ACPS has maintained last year’s strong performance and continues to show growth. ACPS has continued its three year upward divisionwide trend in the focus subjects of reading, math and science.

Division level SOL results in history and social science remained steady at 77 percent – already consistently high across the division. The only decrease was seen in writing – which dropped one percentage point this year and two percentage points in the last three years.

We are raising the achievement level for every single subgroup and at the same time closing the achievement gap. There is still much work remaining and our focus continues to be on accelerating the achievement for students with disabilities as well as English Learners across all content areas,” Dr. Crawley said.

Over the next few days, ACPS will be shining a light on our progress to close the gap by posting the ‘ACPS: Closing the Gap‘ sign around the City. Spot the sign and send us a picture to @ACPSk12 on Twitter or tag ‘Alexandria City Public Schools’ on Facebook.


ACPS 3-year Growth in Science SOL, by Subgroup
ACPS 3-year Growth in Science SOL, by Subgroup


ACPS 3-year Growth in Math SOL, by Subgroup
ACPS 3-year Growth in Math SOL, by Subgroup


ACPS 3-year Growth in Reading SOL, by Subgroup
ACPS 3-year Growth in Reading SOL, by Subgroup
* “Gap Group 1” is a combination of students with disabilities, limited-English proficient (LEP) students and economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race and ethnicity.
ACPS – Federal SOL Performance by School: 2013-14, 2014-15 & PRELIMINARY 2015-16
ACPS, News Release