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Education
8:08 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Grading Virginia's Schools - A Failing Idea?

Flickr User alamosbasement
Credit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In Virginia, lawmakers are taking action to REPEAL a system of assigning every school in the commonwealth with a letter grade.  

Is your neighborhood elementary school an A school? Or would it earn a C? Parents may never know because lawmakers are moving forward with an effort to spike a system that would have issued a grade to each school. It's an idea that dates back two years ago, when the General Assembly passed the original effort. Then last year they delayed it. Now the House Education Committee is moving forward with an effort to kill it. 

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Common Core
7:50 am
Thu January 29, 2015

General Assembly Debates Common Core

Senator Janet Howell argues against the bill.

The Virginia Senate has postponed a final vote on legislation that would prohibit the state from adopting the national Common Core standards for public education without prior approval of the General Assembly.  The standards have been widely adopted by states but have come under fire—in part, for their mandatory, one-size-fits-all approach.  

Bill supporters argued that it doesn’t stop the state from adopting Common Core, but merely requires the input of lawmakers.  Senator Tom Garrett said under the state SOLs, student achievement is already among the best in the nation. 

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Animal Welfare
4:51 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Natural Bridge Zoo Responds to Allegations

Last week, the Humane Society of the United States released results of an undercover effort at the Natural Bridge Zoo.  That group wants the federal government to close the place after several animals died.  It’s also asking that the owner be prosecuted for cruelty to animals, but Karl Mogenson insists the zoo did nothing.

The zoo is routinely closed over the winter, but last summer hundreds of people had the chance to see a couple of baby tigers up close.

“I’m so excited --- look, look!  See that?”

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Virginia General Assembly
3:40 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Industrial Hemp Bill Clears House Panel

Support is growing for a bill that would allow cultivation of industrial hemp in Virginia.  It passed a house committee and is expected to go to a vote of the full house Thursday.  

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Downtown Roanoke Office Building to Close
1:24 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Norfolk Southern Jobs Move to Norfolk or Atlanta

Downtown Roanoke
Credit Norfolk Southern Corporation

Norfolk Southern is closing its office building in downtown Roanoke, affecting 500 employees. 

Norfolk Southern Spokesman Robin Chapman says employees were informed Tuesday morning. .

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