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

Impressionist Hero Édouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles

Manet was not himself an Impressionist, but he mightily influenced the movement. Two of his paintings are now in L.A. The Railway is making its West Coast debut, and Spring just sold for $65 million.
NPR

Stone Age Britons Were Eating Wheat 2,000 Years Before They Farmed It

Scientists have recovered cultivated wheat DNA from an 8,000-year-old submerged site off the British coast. The finding suggests hunter-gatherers were trading for the grain long before they grew it.
NPR

Jeb Bush Takes 2016 Show Into Unfriendly Territory At CPAC

Bush has appeared almost exclusively before friendly audiences since leaving the Florida governorship eight years ago, but today he faces a crowd of conservative activists.
NPR

'Ballot Selfies' Clash With The Sanctity Of Secret Polling

New Hampshire is the first state to outlaw voting booth selfies. Some call the ban unconstitutional and are challenging it in court. Others argue selfies compromise privacy and enable voter coercion.

Leave a Comment

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