If you are beating the system why would you want to change it?
Despite its success on state standardized tests, the Salem City district is asking for a change.
The Standards of Learning tests have frustrated students, parents and educators across the state.
The pass rates in Salem City schools remain among the highest in the state, despite the tests getting tougher.
Despite this the schools' superintendent is leading the charge for reform.
"Whether you're a parent or a teacher, you're not just interested on where a child is on a given day, such as an SOL test. You want to know how far did a child come," said Dr. Alan Seibert.
The last thing Seibert wants to do is get rid of a standardized way to measure student achievement.
Instead, he's lobbying the State Department of Education to allow school districts to measure progress too in some fashion the state would approve.
"What we're asking now is that the state begin considering an opportunity for alternate measures that are also objective and standardized and very valid," Seibert added.
Seibert says under the current assessment system, there's very little flexibility for school districts to track progress.
Despite testing very well, Seibert says school districts should be allowed to internally measure student progress beyond the SOL's.
"Our students and our teachers achieve well on the current assessment system. The problem is that it is an outdated system. I would not want a surgeon using 15 year old diagnostic techniques and I as a parent I do not want a 15 year old accountability system used for my children," he said.
Salem is one of the first of about 30 districts statewide that has drafted resolutions asking the Department of Education for more local control in measuring achievement.
Seibert says it wouldn't surprise him to see more and more school districts adopting these resolutions with the hopes of reforming the SOL's.
While all of this sounds like more tests, Seibert is adamant about more progress checks with fewer tests. He says trying to measure student achievement based on one test they take in May isn't fair.
Instead, he wants to see fewer tests be administered to elementary school students, saying third grade students shouldn't have to be tested on how well they learned Social Studies.
Seibert also thinks high school achievement tests like the PSAT's or SAT's that many students already take should be used as progress checks.
To see a copy of Salem City's resolution for SOL reform, click here.