To view Region VII dataSOL Region VII Data (1)

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LEBANON, VA – September 5, 2018 Students in Region VII schools in Virginia had the highest average Standards of Learning (SOL) test pass rates in the state in math, science and reading, according to data compiled by the Comprehensive Instructional Program (CIP) Consortium from the most recent round of state SOL testing.

Region VII students, as a whole, outscored seven other school regions in math, science and reading, ranking at the top in a percentage pass rate comparison between the school regions and exceeding the state average pass rates in four of five subject areas, including math, science, reading and history. The Region VII pass rate in writing was less than one percent below the state level average pass rate.

Fifteen counties and four city school divisions located in the Southwestern part of Virginia comprise Region VII, which includes the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Tazewell, Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton. Additional school divisions which comprise Region VII include those in Grayson, Carroll, Bland, Giles, Smyth, Wythe, Washington, Pulaski, Bristol City, Galax City and Radford City.

Virginia’s public schools are divided into eight separate regions. A map detailing the county and city make-up of each region in the state may be found on the Virginia Department of Education website at

The CIP Consortium, which compiled the recent results, is a group of public school divisions in Virginia working collaboratively to improve student achievement. The CIP originated in Region VII in 2013 when school superintendents from across the region began looking at state SOL testing and accreditation processes for school divisions statewide. The group pooled resources to develop programming aimed at helping students to succeed, according to Dr. Matt Hurt, CIP director, who is located in Wise. Since that time, it has also gone on to provide assistance to several other counties outside of Region VII.

“By pooling our talents and our resources, we sought to improve pass rates in our region and the proof is there that it is working based on the most recent round of test results,” Hurt said.

“School quality is one of the factors which demonstrate a region’s commitment to future economic prosperity and by the performance of students in Region VII, it is evident that the region’s commitment to providing a quality education to students is important,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “These results demonstrate the region’s commitment to helping students succeed and to developing a future workforce to help meet the needs of employers looking at the region, including the VCEDA counties, as a place to locate or expand their business or industry.”

Hurt noted that in the most recent round of testing, Region VII schools secured the top spot in all categories of testing, with the exception of history, where the Region VII student pass rates came in second; and in writing, where Region VII students came in third among the eight regions in the state.

The results also showed Region VII students with the highest pass rate among the eight regions in the state — and also showed them above the state average pass rate — in Algebra II, Earth Science, End of Course Writing, Geometry, Grade 3 Reading, Grade 3 Math, Grade 4 Reading, Grade 4 Math, Grade 5 Reading and Grade 5 Math, Grade 5 Science, Grade 6 Reading, Grade 6 Math, Grade 8 Math, Virginia Studies and World History II.

Region VII students also recorded higher pass rates than the state average pass rate for Algebra 1, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Grade 7 Reading, Grade 7 Math, Grade 8 Reading, Grade 8 Science, Virginia and U.S. History, World History I.

The CIP data results compiled, according to Hurt, take into account student pass rates and the number of students taking the test to arrive at an average. Other factors such as economic status, ethnicity, teacher salaries and division funding resources are not weighted in the CIP raw data calculations.


About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. or