Repost from The Virginia Star.

Standards of learning tests (SOL) for the 2021-2022 school year show improvement across most subjects from the previous academic year, but the administration is warning that there’s still an achievement gap compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. In a virtual press conference Thursday, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) officials said that gap shows the impact of virtual learning.

“The research is becoming clearer and clearer: students whose schools were closed for in-person instruction suffered the most. Being in person for school matters,” Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow said.

66 percent of students overall passed in mathematics, and 73 percent of students overall passed in reading, up from 54 percent for mathematics and 69 percent for reading in 2020-2021. In science, 65 percent passed, up from 59 percent in 2020-2021, and in history/social science 66 percent passed, up from 54 percent the previous year.

Assessment tests weren’t performed in 2019-2020 due to COVID-19.

In 2018-2019, 82 percent of students passed mathematics, 78 percent passed reading, 81 percent passed science, and 80 percent passed history/social science.

In reading, Balow said that the five percentage point difference between 2021-2022 results and 2018-2019 results doesn’t capture how big the gap actually is.