All Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia (PWCS) are accredited under Commonwealth accreditation guidelines as per Virginia Department of Education. The new accreditation ratings for 2011–12 are based on performance during the 2010–2011 school year or a three-year average.
“At all levels, our students are exceeding the content-area benchmarks required for accreditation,” said Superintendent of Prince William County Schools Steven L. Walts. “This is evidence of the quality of teaching that goes on in the classroom, and of the quality of leadership in our schools. Prince William County residents can be proud of their schools and the high achievement of our students.
“All elementary schools exceeded the state math benchmark of 70% passing by at least 10 percentage points, and 15 out of 17 middle schools and all high schools scored 80% passing or higher, which is 10 percentage points higher than the benchmark,” Walts said.
All PWCS schools achieved higher passing rates in English – English includes reading and writing – than the benchmark required for accreditation:
- All elementary schools scored at least 8 points higher than the 75% benchmark with over 70% of elementary schools scoring at or above 90% passing
- All middle schools scored 15 or more percentage points higher than the required benchmark of 70%
- All 10 high schools also exceeded the 70% benchmark by at least 20 points.
All schools also exceeded their respective benchmarks in science:
- 55 of 57 elementary schools exceeding the benchmark by 10 percentage points
- all middle schools exceeding the benchmark by at least 15 percentage points
- all high schools exceeding the benchmark by 10 percentage points
All schools exceeded either the current year or three-year average benchmarks in history, with all elementary schools exceeding the benchmark by more than 25 percentage points.
The Accreditation rules require that at the middle and high school levels, at least 70 percent of students must pass the English, math, social studies, and science tests. At the elementary school level, at least 75 percent of students taking the tests must receive passing grades in English. Elementary students must also achieve pass rates of at least 70 percent in mathematics, fifth-grade science and fourth-grade history, and 50 percent pass rates in third-grade science and third-grade history. Beginning with tests administered in the 2012–13 school year, the benchmark will be 75 percent for English at all grade levels and the benchmark for all other content areas at all grade levels will be 70 percent.
For the first time, the accreditation ratings for 2011–12 for high schools include a graduation score, using the Graduation and Completion Index (GCI), explained in the state’s Accountability Guide. To be fully accredited, a school must meet the 2015 target score of 85 points. Provisional accreditation is awarded to schools with GCI scores of 80-84 (the provisional target increases from 80 points in 2011–12 to 84 points in 2014–15). All high schools in PWCS met the 2011–12 targets, with 8 schools earning full accreditation by meeting the 2015–16 target of 85 points.
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