Education

General Assembly
4:00 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Lawmakers Debate Stun Guns & Pepper Spray in School

Virginia’s House has approved a bill designed to prevent school shootings, and state senators begin debating the measure today.  Sponsored by Fredericksburg Delegate Mark Cole, it  allows local school boards to arm security officers with batons, pepper spray and stun guns.

“These are school employees.  They are not law enforcement officers.  They don’t have training to use batons, stun weapons and spray devices.”  

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General Assembly
4:00 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Reining in Restraints of School Kids

When a special needs child is a bit fussy or has a history of violent outbursts in a classroom setting, who has the right to restrain them or put them into seclusion—and who decides when that goes too far?  In Virginia, that’s not clear.  But  a bill that's sailed through both chambers of the General Assembly will soon change that.

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General Assembly 2015
8:24 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Charter School Bill Clears State Senate

Flickr user Ryan McGilchrist
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

After a very spirited debate in the state Senate, charter school proponents win a major victory. Senators passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to give the Board of Education authority to establish charter schools in Virginia. 

Bill supporters argue that Virginia has only seven charter schools, but a far greater number of jurisdictions need more options for students with substandard public schools. Senator Tom Garrett agrees that socio-economic status should not determine a child's quality of education.

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General Assembly 2015
8:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

School Divisions Could Have Flexibility in Graduation Requirements

In Richmond, members of the General Assembly are moving forward with the plan to change high school graduation requirements. The bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of standardized tests.

The House Education Committee is moving forward with a bill that would give local school divisions more flexibility in how they determine graduation requirements. The idea is to let administrators ditch standardized tests in favor of other assessments, like a science project or a research essay.

"I don't think it undermines the accountability."

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3.3 gpa or higher
3:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

VCU Drops SAT Requirement for Some

Virginia Commonwealth University says it will no longer require the SAT test for applicants who have a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.  Vice Provost Luke Schultheis  says the test appeared to be biased in favor of students whose parents had attended college, while those who were the first generation of a family to apply did worse.

Students who are first generation, on average, would have a 70-point lower score than students who were not first generation with the same GPA

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