Editor: I am sorry to report this, but Washington-Liberty (formerly Washington-Lee) is no longer a great high school.

The latest Virginia State Standards of Learning test results are out, and the decline at W-L continues. In 2015, the all-student/all-test average pass rate was just over 89 percent. Now it is just over 82 percent. According to the official Arlington grading scale, this means that W-L has gone from a “B-plus” to a “B-minus”.

Worse, over this same period, the same average for black students has gone from 81 to just under 70; that is, from a “B-minus” to a “C-minus”. This decline is the most harmful form of discrimination.

I compared these results with those of nearby George C. Marshall High School in Fairfax County, which is similar to W-L but which tells quite a different story.

At Marshall, the all-student/all-test pass rate has hovered between 94 percent and 95 percent over the past five years, which is an “A”. But the even better news is that is that the black-student pass rate has gone from 88 percent to 93 percent, also an “A” and effectively closing the achievement gap for black students. Well done.

So why, despite the highest per-student spending in the region, has this not happened in Arlington? We know why: the Arlington School Board is more concerned with virtue signaling that with academic performance. This will not change until the single-party stranglehold is eliminated.

Tom Hafer

Arlington

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