Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said Wednesday that the focus of Standards of Learning testing this spring should be on collecting data to identify the academic needs of students and inform local and state efforts to help students recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video message to schools and parents, Lane said that performance data from spring SOL testing will play a critical role as schools design instructional and remedial programs to help students catch up after a year of school closures and, in most divisions, extended periods of virtual instruction. Lane said when schools review test results this spring and summer their focus should be on student needs, and not on accreditation or teacher evaluation. 

“The results of the SOL tests will be used differently this year. The results are needed to inform what teachers and schools do next with our students,” Lane said. “Teachers and principals need to know exactly how kids are doing so they can design instruction and provide support to students over the summer and throughout the next school year that meet their unique academic needs. The SOL tests will provide critical information on where our students are excelling and where they are struggling in a way that is consistent from school to school.”