The following is a list of strategic targets the Fairfax County School Board set for the school system last fall and where it stands in meeting each target. The 1998-99 school year was considered an implementation year--used to gather baseline data--for many of the goals, thus complete data are not available for each target. The School Board will review the goals in January.
All schools will meet or exceed the Virginia Standards of Accreditation as measured by the Standards of Learning exams.
Progress report: Forty-three of the 203 Fairfax County schools met state accreditation standards on SOL exams given last spring.
The percentage of students scoring above the national average on both the verbal and mathematics Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) will exceed the previous year's percentage, and the gap between minority and majority students' scores will narrow by 10 percent.
Progress report: An analysis of 1999 data is not yet available. 1998 baseline data indicated that 85 percent of graduating seniors took the SAT, compared with 43 percent of students nationwide. In 1998, 51.6 percent of Fairfax students taking the SAT scored above the national average on both portions of the test.
White students outperformed minority students on the 1998 SAT, with the greatest gap between the performance of white and black students.
At least 25 percent of high school students will have enrolled in and passed at least one Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) course, and at least two-thirds of them will score a 3 or higher on an AP exam, or 4 or higher on an IB exam.
Progress report: 1998-99 baseline data show 44.7 percent of Fairfax 11th- and 12th-graders enrolled in at least one AP or IB course. At least 30 percent of students in every Fairfax high school were enrolled in at least one AP or IB course during the 1998-99 baseline school year.
In the 1997-98 school year, 5,833 students took 11,170 AP tests. In the 1998-99 school year, 8,884 Fairfax students took 17,925 AP tests. This reflects a 52 percent increase in the number of students who took AP tests in 1998-99. The number of students scoring 3 or higher on any AP test increased from 4,493 in 1997-98 to 5,762 in 1998-99. As expected with more students taking the exams, the percentage of students with a score of 3 or higher on any one AP test declined from 77 percent in 1997-98 to 64 percent in 1998-99.
Data for IB tests are not yet available.
The 1997-98 enrollment and passing rates for majority students taking Algebra I before ninth grade will be maintained or increased, while narrowing the gaps between majority and minority students by at least 25 percent.
Progress report: The enrollment rate of majority and minority students in Algebra I before ninth grade increased in 1998-99 when compared with 1997-98. All groups had higher enrollment in 1998-99, and the gap between enrollment of black/Hispanic students and white/Asian students declined slightly. The 1998-99 passing rate data are currently being analyzed.
Overall suspension rates and the disparity in the suspension rates for white and minority students will be reduced by 10 percent.
Progress report: Suspension rates for the first three quarters of 1998-99 declined when compared with suspension rates for the first three quarters of the previous year. The overall minority suspension rate decreased 20 percent. Suspension and disparity data for the full 1998-99 school year are currently being compiled and analyzed.
All schools will have at least 40 percent of the high-end computers that central staff proposed when setting school-by-school targets.
Progress report: As of July 1999, 76.2 percent of schools met their 40 percent target. It is projected that all schools will meet their 40 percent target by January 2000.
At least 40 percent of all instructional and administrative personnel will meet or exceed Virginia technology competency standards.
Progress report: As of June 28, 1999, 74.2 percent of targeted teachers and administrators met the technology competency standards.
Schools will show at least a 25 percent reduction in the recidivism rate for students suspended because of acts of violence.
Progress report: The recidivism rate for suspensions due to acts of violence increased slightly--about 1 percent--when first, second, and third quarter data are compared for 1997-98 and 1998-99 school years. Progress will be recalculated using the data for the full 1998-99 school year when the data become available.
The School Board will approve a more flexible staffing and funding approach to better address the needs of individual schools.
Progress report: Twenty struggling elementary schools will receive nearly $8 million in flexible funding for resources and staff this school year. No new systemwide funding model has been approved.
A multiyear funding source to pay for long-range technology improvements will be identified and an implementation plan will be developed.
Progress report: During the 1999 session, the Virginia General Assembly approved the distribution of lottery profits to public education. However, funds available through this source are projected to be considerably less than school technology funding needs.