Schools Along Route 1 In Fairfax County Struggle To Meet State Standards | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Schools Along Route 1 In Fairfax County Struggle To Meet State Standards

Late at night, the halls of Mount Vernon Elementary School are quiet except for a few parents who have arrived for a PTA meeting.
Michael Pope
Late at night, the halls of Mount Vernon Elementary School are quiet except for a few parents who have arrived for a PTA meeting.

In Virginia, new standardized test scores show that students who live along the Route 1 corridor in Fairfax County are struggling to meet minimum standards.

It's after 8 o'clock on a school night at Mount Vernon High School. Most of the students and teachers have left the building. But Parent-Teacher Association President Jeanette Kraynak is here.

"We're holding parent teacher meetings, and I have 12 people showing up. Parents do not attend and support," she says.

Half of Fairfax County Schools accredited with warning are in the Mount Vernon area, where the typical school has 67 percent of students living in poverty.

"Parents sometimes avoid the school based on statistics without really knowing anything about the school," says Dana Melvin, a member of the PTA. "I think all of us here believe that our children are getting very good education at the school. We wouldn't be here if they weren't."

Assistant Superintendent Deborah Tyler says it's difficult to explain why half of the county's schools that did not meet minimum standards are clustered here. "Did we hit a roadblock? Yes, this time we did. And are we very reflective and being very proactive in addressing it? We absolutely are," she says.

Five of the six schools accredited with warning here failed to meet minimum standards for science, creating a vast disparity in the county, where Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has a 100 percent pass rate for science. And yet only 46 percent of students at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School were able to pass the science test.

"These new test scores that came out are part of the legacy of the county sort of over-investing in wind tunnels, optical lasers and wave pools at Thomas Jefferson while you have massive numbers of children waiting for Head Start and subsidized childcare," says Delegate Scott Surovell who represents the area in the House of Delegates.

Surovell says one thing the county could do to increase science scores in Mount Vernon is restore the planetarium at Carl Sandburg Middle School, which has been sitting unused for years.

Read more here.

View Northern Virginia Schools Accredited With Warning in a full screen map

NPR

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

"I've never accused myself of being manly," Offerman says, noting his real-life persona is different from his Parks and Recreation character. His book is a set of essays about people who inspire him.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.