Summary of Methods for Calculating School Accreditation Ratings

Full Accreditation is based on the achievement of a 70% pass rate in all core content areas except English at the elementary level for which the pass rate is 75% and third grade social studies and science for which the pass rate is 50% for each.

One of four accreditation ratings will be applied to a school in 2010-11 based upon student performance in 2009-10:

1. Full Accreditation - achieves 70% pass rate in all content areas (75% in elementary English; 50% in third grade social studies and science).

2. Accredited with Warning (applies to a specific content area) – does not achieve the rating to earn a Fully Accredited status in at least one content area. A school may remain Accredited with Warning for no more than 3 consecutive years.

3. Accreditation Denied – failure to be Fully Accredited for the preceding three consecutive years.

4. Conditionally Accredited - new schools consisting of students from one or more existing schools in the division will be awarded this status for one year. A school may also be rated Conditionally Accredited in lieu of the rating of Accreditation Denied if the school is making progress in the content area where the performance target has not been met.

Beginning with the calculation ratings for the 2011-12 school year based on data from the 2010-11 school year, a Graduation and Completion Index will be used in the calculation of accreditation ratings. Schools with a graduating class will be required to meet this index, in addition to meeting the required Standards of Learning pass rates, in order to be fully accredited. There is a five-year phase-in period, where schools can be rated Provisionally Accredited. This rating is awarded if the school achieves the minimum thresholds for Standards of Learning tests scores but does not meet a minimum threshold for the graduation rate but meets prescribed benchmarks outlined in the regulations.

Beginning with tests administered in 2011-12, the pass rate for English will rise to 75% for all grades and the pass rates for the other three core areas will remain at 70%.

The following method will be used to calculate the pass rates for each content area:

- The pass rates are based on student performance during all test administrations within this past year, i.e., summer 2009, fall 2009, and spring 2010. Pass rates are combined to determine one pass rate for each content area with the exception of social studies and science at the elementary level, where the pass rates for grades three and five will be calculated separately.
- The higher of either the unadjusted or adjusted pass rate is used for each test. Unadjusted-includes scores of LEP and transfer students.

Adjusted-excludes failing scores of LEP students enrolled in Virginia public schools fewer than eleven semesters and transfer students.

A transfer for grades 3-8 is a student enrolling from home instruction or from another Virginia school division, another state, or

another country after the 20th day. For students enrolled in courses that offer an end-of-course SOL test, a transfer is a student who enrolls from home instruction, private school, or from another state or country after the 20th day. - Scores at the elementary level (grades 3, 4, and 5) are combined to determine one pass rate for English and one pass rate for math at each school. Combined values for grades 3 and 5 social studies and science are also calculated; however, a combined value is used only if the value is greater than the grade 3 or 5 pass rate for the content area.
- A three-year rolling average will be calculated and used to determine each content pass rate only if this average value is higher than the pass rate for the current year.
- At the elementary and middle school level, remediation recovery students must take the grade level test that corresponds to their level of instruction. If the student is coded as a remediation recovery student and passes the current year test, the score will count twice in the numerator and denominator. If the student fails the current year test and is a remediation recovery student, the failing score counts only once in the denominator.
- Students in grade 9 can retake the grade 8 reading and math tests as remediation recovery students. High school students can retake the Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II tests as remediation recovery students.
- If a high school student passes a course but fails the corresponding SOL test, he/she can retake the end-of-course (EOC) test as many times as needed to earn a verified credit. Students who retake EOC SOL tests are included in both the numerator and the denominator of the pass rate calculation only if they pass. There is no penalty for the school if a student fails a retaken test. These provisions apply only if a student is coded as a retester. When calculating accreditation, a student’s highest SOL score will be included, regardless of how many times a test is retaken.