SOL is taking a turn

SOL credits are changing and it is making quite a few students upset over it.

Zoe Sauger, Editor-In-Chief

For the longest time students have had to take 9 SOL’s in order to receive their nine credits to graduate. The SOL stands for standard of learning exam, which means it is testing standard knowledge the student learned for that respective class. Not everyone agrees with the idea of standardized testing. This is mostly because not everyone tests well, or in other words some students will study hard, do their homework and pay attention in class, but then do not do well on tests because they crumble under stress. FCPS is realizing this and trying to make a change, but whenever there is a change there is always backlash.

The big change that was put into effect this year is starting with the students in the graduating class of 2022 only need to obtain five SOL credits. As you can imagine, older generations feel that it is unfair that they have to take more SOL’s and are not happy with the change, and on the other hand the younger generations are very happy about the change. Sophia Bywater (10) said, “I think that final grades should be on if they (students) pass or not, not depending on one test.” She continued to say later in the interview, “I don’t agree with standardized testing just because not everybody is a good test taker, and so it doesn’t help them, but other people who don’t know the content can just wing it, and so people who do know the content can’t always show it on the test.”

The idea of less testing is not a new one, for example other countries and states have noticed huge improvement in their students’ education with lowering testing. If there is no more testing, that does not mean every student gets an A, but it merely means students will be tested in other ways. An example of this is project based learning (PBL) which is something that Oakton has been putting in an effort to do more of. Yet, there is still backlash on this approach of learning. PBL, especially when it is group project, can put a lot of stress on students. It is purely a no win situation. In conclusion, SOL credits are changing and it might have a huge benifit for younger generations, but overall it is important to realize that everyone learns differently, and this should be what schools focus on.