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.
Elementary and middle school students who fail Standards of Learning tests by narrow margins will have an opportunity to retake those tests this spring thanks to new regulations passed by the State Board of Education. The rules stem from a law that sailed through the General Assembly—but would not have taken effect until July 1st if the Board had not acted.
A large number of public education reform bills made it through this year's General Assembly session. The sponsor of many of the House bills says lawmakers wanted to build on last year's successes with the SOL reforms.
Delegate Tag Greason says while Virginia schools spend a lot of time preparing students to go to college, they haven’t placed as much emphasis on those going directly into the workforce. That's why one of his bills aligns career and technical education certification with national requirements.
Many teachers, parents, and policymakers have agreed that the state's Standards of Learning have forced classroom instruction to be geared toward test-taking, rather than developing more comprehensive learning skills. But as the SOLs are being revised, some are concerned that Social Studies-and ultimately the lessons that teach children civic engagement-are being minimized too much.