PRESS RELEASE: Arlington Test Scores Continue Downward Trend

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington School Board, and I’m concerned that Arlington Public Schools (APS) is misleading you about the performance of students enrolled in its schools.

In a recent press release the Superintendent boasted about the fact that all Arlington schools remain accredited, and pass rates exceed the state average in most categories.

Yet the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Report Card–measuring Standards Of Learning (SOL) test results–indicates that Arlington high schools are on a downward trend. Since 2014 Washington-Lee (W-L) pass rates have declined in all five categories tested, and Yorktown and Wakefield have declined in four.

W-L Mathematics pass rates declined 7 percentage points between 2014 and 2018 from 88 to 81. Wakefield English Reading declined 9 percentage points from 86 to 77.

High school pass rates are a key barometer of school district performance, because they are highly correlated with college admission rates. They are also correlated with real estate values, a fact that APS has publicized to justify its annual budget requests to the County.

It’s no accident that my opponent Barbara Kanninen has been on the School Board since 2015 when high school performance began to decline. It’s not just that Barbara is giving herself a a pass when she should get a fail.

It’s that APS spends inordinate amounts to get the same academic results as other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia. In fact the 2018 Washington Board of Education (WABE) Guide indicates that Arlington spends $4,500 more per pupil than Fairfax County. Arlington also spends 2.5 times the per pupil state average for new classroom capacity.

If you’re worried about the quality of Arlington schools and looking for better leadership, then look no further. I’m a 14-year Westover resident and civic activist–with a Ph.D. in Political Science and service as a Congressional Fellow. I also serve on the Arlington Transportation Commission.

If elected, I pledge to:

  • Preserve the name: Washington-Lee High School.
  • Reverse declining high school test scores.
  • Close the minority student achievement gap.
  • Rein in profligate School Board spending.
  • Listen to the concerns of all taxpayers.
  • Build schools not trailers on time and on budget.
  • Mainstream special needs students.
  • End "teaching to the test".
  • Install efficient renewable energy in all public schools.
  • Promote school safety with a focus on violence prevention.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Volunteer to help.
  • Donate to my campaign.

If you’re interested in helping out, just shoot me an email or call or text. If you want to find out more about my campaign, visit my website.

Together we can make Arlington Public Schools provide all students with an honest education.

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