SOLs are headed to Chatham High

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Standards of Learning Tests are coming this month to Chatham High School to close out the 2017-18 school year.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, this is exactly what “SOLs” are and why they are in the schools: “The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects.

SOL tests in reading, writing, mathematics, science and history/social science measure the success of students in meeting the Board of Education’s expectations for learning and achievement. All items on SOL tests are reviewed by Virginia classroom teachers for accuracy and fairness and teachers also assist the state Board of Education in setting proficiency standards for the tests.”

Students have mixed emotions about these tests; many opened up about their thoughts and opinions on them.

Coleman Daniel, freshman, said, “They suck because they’re not fun to take, and they take a long time. The hardest test I have taken is the Algebra One SOL. Test taking is easy for because it just comes naturally to me. I believe teachers do prepare us for a SOL because if you pay attention then you realize everything they teach is on the test.”

Kailey Neal, junior, said, “I think they’re fine, but I don’t like them because it is hard to remember everything; plus it’s easy to overthink things, and it also puts stress more on the teachers more than the students. I think the chemistry SOL was the hardest because I get nervous through the whole class. Testing is pointless, it just judges you on what we know. Most teachers prepare us.”

Emma Myers, freshman, said, “I feel nervous going into the test. The hardest SOLs for me have been math and science. How easy or hard test taking is depends on the test, and how stressed out I am about the particular test.”

Jennifer Hernandez, senior, said, “I think they’re unnecessary. A single test can’t define my intelligence. Civics in the seventh grade was the hardest. I literally cried in the middle of it. I think the material is easy for me, but I stress myself out when it comes to tests. Being prepared depends on the teacher. Some teachers wait until the last minute to cram everything together. Some teachers just focus on what will be on the SOL. I think they should teach us the material that will actually benefit us and not so much on the SOL.”