Education

A look at education issues around Virginia.

The women of the troubled Sweet Briar College say the institution is capable of sustaining itself—and all it needs is a second chance. They're hoping that chance comes in the form of a ruling from the state's highest court to grant an injunction and allow the college to stay open while school administrators sort out legal and financial matters.

This week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill allowing elementary and middle school kids to re-take Standards of Learning tests if they score a few points below what’s needed to pass.  McAuliffe has already signed legislation to eliminate five of the tests kids might have taken during their years in public school, and he says he’d like to cut more of them, while getting creativity back into the classroom.

Meanwhile, parents in Richmond have begun a protest of their own - asking that their kids be excused from SOL tests. 

The fight to save Sweet Briar College goes to the Virginia Supreme Court tomorrow morning.

The entire high court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit brought by Amherst County Attorney Ellen Bowyer.  School officials say they’re closing the doors in August because of financial problems.  But Watchdog.org has found the college was in worse financial shape about a dozen years ago.  Kenric Ward is a writer for the conservative website’s Virginia bureau.

This year, Charlottesville will celebrate the 20th anniversary of a unique after-school program – a place where poor kids can master a musical instrument and the workings of a recording studio, learn to distribute their work and launch a career.  The Music Resource Center’s latest success story is a kid who arrived with too little luck but plenty of drive. 

Bernard Talburtt is a tall, skinny guy with a sweet disposition.  He lived with his mother and brother in Charlottesville’s public housing, and despite frequent exposure to violence, he has remarkable manners.

Over the last several years, Sweet Briar College, Virginia Intermont, and Saint Paul's College have announced that they were closing—and now state officials are engaging in a broad discussion about what recourse families have when that happens.

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Director Peter Blake says before a college closes, two important functions must be carried out. The first directly helps students.

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