GATE CITY — Every school in Wise County and the city of Norton received state accreditation this year, while a total of six schools in Lee County and two more in Scott County were accredited with warning, according to data released Friday by the Virginia Department of Education.
According to the Virginia DOE, the number of schools across the commonwealth meeting accreditation standards dropped sharply this year due to more rigorous testing in reading, writing and science that was implemented during the 2012-13 school year. Tougher mathematics testing put into place two years ago also played a role in the lower rates.
Full accreditation is based on Standards of Learning test scores and, where applicable, a graduation index. Schools can use a three-year running average of those figures to mitigate low test scores in order to obtain accreditation.
Statewide, 77 percent of Virginia’s public schools — or 1,414 — were rated as fully accredited for 2013-14. That number was down from 93 percent of schools the previous year.
At the same time, state education officials said the number of schools being accredited with warning quadrupled from 2012-13 to 395, while another six schools were denied accreditation due to “chronically low achievement.”
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