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Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

Thank you for the many responses you sent about our report on Tuesday about shelters for homeless people, and a program that has helped get people into housing. We hope it helps the community better understand the complexities of homelessness, and the people who experience it. We’re going through all your comments as we continue reporting.

Today, though, we want to highlight some striking data about our public schools. We know that the COVID-19 lockdown was a challenge to students’ academic success, but now, state assessment results show how hard it has been for local students to recover. Virginia students, across a majority of demographics and subjects, are making slight to significant improvements in test scores since returning to in-person learning. But many, especially non-white students, continue to struggle in testing on core topics, such as reading, math and science.

This is true in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, too. Our report today from Tamica Jean-Charles shows some of the data, and also explains how to explore it for yourself. These kinds of numbers bring up so many questions! We’ll dig in further in future reports on education.

A line chart with colorful lines show spaced out pass rates with a title "Charlottesville City Schools Math Scores" from 2016 to 2023. All students are at the top, around 75 to 80%, while students who are Black, Hispanic, have disabilities, economic disadvantages or are learning English have pass rates from 20 to 60%.
Credit: Chart by Charlottesville Tomorrow with data from the Virginia Department of Education

Charlottesville and Albemarle County public school students have lower pass rates on state exams since the pandemic

We’ve also got a few ways you can get involved in who runs our public schools and how they run them.

Oct. 18, you can join a forum with the four candidates for Charlottesville City Schools Board — there are only seven members, so the upcoming election could bring big changes to city schools. Click for more information.

Two children lean over a table with craft supplies.
Credit: Courtesy of Charlottesville City Schools

Four new people will join the Charlottesville City School Board, but who are the candidates?

We also have some Q&As with candidates for local school boards. We asked them the questions that you, our readers, said you wanted answers to.

And remember, Monday, Oct. 16 is the deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration. You can also register after this date, and on election day, but you will vote with a provisional ballot, which could take longer for officials to count because they will verify your eligibility.

Thanks for thinking about public education with us today!

And have a great weekend,
Angilee Shah, CEO and Editor-in-Chief

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