Standards of Learning (SOL) is a public school standardized testing program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It sets forth learning and achievement expectations for core subjects for grades K-12 in Virginia's Public Schools. The standards represent what many teachers, school administrators, parents, and business and community leaders believe schools should teach and students should learn. The Virginia Department of Education, schools, and school systems routinely receive essential feedback on the effectiveness of implementation and address effective instructional strategies and best practices.
The Standards of Learning are supportive of and in direct response to No Child Left Behind, which was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. They address student achievement in four critical areas: (1) English, (2) mathematics, (3) science, and (4) history/social science. Students are assessed in English and mathematics in grades 3-8 and upon completion of certain high school level courses. Science and history SOLs are administered in grades 3, 5, and 8 and at the end of completing high school courses in these respective subjects.
In 2009, Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D., head of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia, submitted an update to Patricia I. Wright, the Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction, regarding Virginia's status on the NCLB cornerstones and the effectiveness of the Standards of Learning.