Nearly three dozen educators from all regions of the Commonwealth convened in Richmond today for a meeting of a new state “Teacher Cabinet.” The panel was established by Governor McDonnell to strategize and make recommendations for education reforms. The Governor plans to incorporate their ideas into an agenda for the next General Assembly session.
The teachers represent a wide spectrum of grades and specialties and were eager to advise the Governor about a real-world perspective. McDonnell called them excellent, experienced educators.
“We’ve got some of the best and brightest in here today, and I’m looking forward to their input.”
The Governor invited them to propose both initiatives and budget actions. He said while all may not agree on every recent education policy change, such as grading school performance, he wanted their views to flesh out the details to implement them well and fairly.
“There are some regulations and procedures that need to be passed on that, so we want to get their input. But ultimately, they are in the classroom every day. No matter what we do in the budget, what we do in policy, if you don’t have a great, motivated teacher who loves and cares about that student, who’s totally dedicated to those kids and that classroom, our system doesn’t work. And these are those great, world-class people. So we want to hear from them: what ELSE can we do?”
The teachers participated in breakout sessions to discuss their ideas for closing the achievement gap, decreasing administrative burdens, and the schools’ role in the higher education and workforce pipeline.