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General Assembly 2015
8:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

School Divisions Could Have Flexibility in Graduation Requirements

In Richmond, members of the General Assembly are moving forward with the plan to change high school graduation requirements. The bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of standardized tests.

The House Education Committee is moving forward with a bill that would give local school divisions more flexibility in how they determine graduation requirements. The idea is to let administrators ditch standardized tests in favor of other assessments, like a science project or a research essay.

"I don't think it undermines the accountability."

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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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Education
10:02 am
Wed January 28, 2015

VEA & PTA "Put Kids First" Campaign

VEA President Meg Gruber and Va PTA President Brenda Sheridan.

The Virginia PTA and the Virginia Education Association have joined together to launch a new public awareness campaign called “Put Kids First."

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Not for Everyone
4:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Full Disclosure: Capped Out

Credit ATW80.com

More Americans than ever are going to college.   And more than ever are burdened with high debts and few job prospects.

In the latest installment of his Full Disclosure podcast, Richmond-based business reporter Roben Farzad talked with University of Richmond Business Professor Eric Martin,  who says  four years of college at the full sticker price is just not for everyone.    And Martin points to recent studies claiming that only 37%  of new jobs created require a four-year-degree.

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