Changes in the Classroom

Apr 8, 2013

A new state school division to manage some underperforming schools is NOT the only change to public education to be approved this year by state lawmakers. 

An array of new laws to revise some programs and expand others will soon take effect. 

Under one law, schools must add early reading intervention services for kindergarten, first and second grades, AND algebra readiness intervention for sixth through ninth grades.  Parents will receive clear, A-through-F report cards to rate local schools under a second law—sponsored by Delegate Tag Greason.

“We’re not changing the underlying accreditation system.  So if it was a “D” before, it’s still a “D.” And now at least more parents would say, ‘I understand, and here’s what I’m going to do about it,'"says Greason.

He says it also requires new student growth indicators.

“If a teacher is able to move a low-performing student to a higher-performing student, we should reward that teacher.”

A new strategic compensation fund can be used to reward them.  Governor McDonnell says one law will impact teacher tenure.

“Longer probation period, much more streamlined grievance process, and also a method to remove underperforming teachers.  One poor performance review can now be a basis for removing those teachers," said Gov. McDonnell.

And a new Red Tape Reduction Act will further enable school divisions to request waivers from some state mandates.