Sexism in the SOL? Girls continue to CRUSH boys in SOL testing

By Max Smith

WASHINGTON — Girls passed Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests at a higher rate than boys did in 2015 for the third straight year.

State data released this week shows a higher proportion of female students statewide than male students passed tests on reading, writing and math.

Male students kept the edge in pass rates statewide on history and social sciences tests, but just by a single percentage point. Both male and female students passed science SOLs at approximately the same rate.

The data provided by the state does not include overall scores that would allow for a statewide average score by gender, or a breakdown of whether there is a difference between the number of boys and girls getting the highest mark of ‘advanced’.

In Fairfax County, 87 percent of female students passed reading SOLs for their grade or course level, while 83 percent of male students did. Girls in Fairfax County also had higher pass rates than boys in writing, math and science. Boys edged out the girls for a higher pass rate in history and social sciences.

In Loudoun County, a higher percentage of girls than boys passed reading, writing and math tests. Ninety-two percent of Loudoun County boys and girls passed history and social sciences tests, and 89 percent of students of each gender passed science tests.

More girls than boys also passed the reading, writing and math tests in Prince William County.

In Fredericksburg, some of the gaps were even larger, with 81 percent of female students passing reading test, compares to only 72 percent of male students. Eighty-three percent of female students passed writing tests, while only 66 percent of male students passed.

In Falls Church, which has the top overall pass rates in Northern Virginia, female students pass all five of the subject areas at higher rates than male students do, with the largest margin shown on the writing tests. The same holds true in Alexandria, where pass rates for both boys and girls are much lower.

In Arlington, female students have higher pass rates this year than male students in all subject areas but history and social sciences.


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