Children raising their hands in a classroom (education)

Virginia standardized test scores were released yesterday, and education officials were disappointed with the results. The Washington Post reports that 78% of students passed the state reading exam — about the same as last year — but a closer look at the numbers reveals significant achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers.

The number of Asian and white students passing reading exams were around 20 percentage points higher than Hispanic and black students. That gap has widened in recent years, the Post reports. Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said the results would drive the state to find ways to improve reading skills.

Passing reading exams:

  • 89% of Asian students
  • 85% of white students
  • 66% of Hispanic students
  • 65% of black students

One of the most striking figures was a major drop in the number of students who are learning English as a second language who were able to pass the reading test. In 2016, 64% of those students passed, compared to just 35% last year.