I encourage everyone to read this short article. Fairfax SAT Scores Fall 27 Points. According to the statistics compiled by the Fairfax County Taxpayers Association (FCTA), the average SAT score of Fairfax County high schools students fell by a shocking 27 points between 2018 and 2022. Only two schools (Thomas Jefferson and Lake Braddock) showed improvement; all the rest declined, in some cases by more than 70 points!
Before you say, “That’s just the effect of COVID; it’ll turn around,” note this: The FCTA data indicate that in the nation as a whole, SAT scores were essentially flat between 2018 and 2022, and the scores of Virginia students as a whole increased 14 points. So, when the administrators of Fairfax County public schools (FCPS) claim that the decline is a statewide and nationwide phenomenon (see the linked article), they’re wrong.
What does explain the drop? Was it because the FCPS administrators and school board overreacted to COVID in comparison to other school districts in Virginia and nationwide, thereby producing more learning loss locally than occurred elsewhere? Was it because FCPS has been so preoccupied with its emphasis on “equity” and ideological issues, at the expense of merit and quality education? Or was it a combination of these and other factors?
FCPS owes the community an explanation, based on an objective post mortem analysis of its actions and priorities in the past several years. FCPS also needs to explain what it plans to do differently in the future.
Citizens of Fairfax County should demand answers. Consider speaking at an upcoming meeting of the School Board. (Instructions for registering to speak are on the School Board website: https://www.fcps.edu/school-board/community-participation.) Or write a letter or email to your Board representative. (Instructions for doing so are at the “contact the School Board” tab on https://www.fcps.edu/school-board/community-participation.)
This is not something to be complacent about.
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