RCPS developing performance based SOL testing

Published: Mar. 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM EDT
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Educators in Rockingham County are in the process of revamping the way students take certain SOL tests.

They presented their ideas to the school board at Monday night's school board meeting.

Instead of strictly multiple choice standard of learning assessments, leaders in Rockingham County schools are exploring the option of division-wide performance based assessments.

That means implementing a project or collaboration instead of a paper test in English, science and social studies.

Just last month, educators in Virginia were fearful the General Assembly would pass a bill eliminating the idea of performance assessments in social studies.

Local educators are breathing a sigh of relief after the bill was tabled.

"It's a required class that students have to earn a standardized credit for, so verifying it through performance based assessment actually allows students to study history concepts in depth rather than the superficial level you usually see with multiple choice tests," said superintendent Dr. Oskar Scheikl.

The school system hopes to begin performance based assessments this fall.

Supervisor of social studies Beau Dickenson says the goal is to give students a better understanding of the content, while also honing a particular skill in the process.

These educators also said the Virginia Department of Education considers Rockingham County the leader in the charge for performance based assessments.