Education Listening Tour Stops in Southwest Virginia

Aug 19, 2013

David Foster, Virginia Board of Education President

The President of Virginia’s Board of Education visits Southwest Virginia this week…with public meetings scheduled Thursday in Abingdon, and Friday in Wythe County.  

It’s David Foster’s latest stop, as he travels the state’s eight educational regions this year. 

Foster says as he talks to educators, parents, and  school administrators around Virginia-he frequently hears the same concerns…about funding, teacher recruitment and retention, and non-English speaking students….and of course, the issue of testing.

Both gubernatorial candidates this year have pledged to revamp the Standards of Learning…. which Foster points out are  continually revised, one subject at a time.

For example, new math standards were implemented in 2009, with  tougher new tests rolled out last year based on those standards.   And this year new tests in English and Science have been more rigorous.

When the SOL pass rates are released this week Foster says they will likely indicate a decline.

He says the department is also working through the remainder of the year to implement A through F school report cards….as part of General Assembly passed legislation, championed by Governor McDonnell.  Supporters of the grading system say it gives parents a better way to understand test data and school quality. Critics though argue it will unfairly impact high-poverty schools.