Standards of Learning

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.

Educators Meet to Revise History

Dec 1, 2014
Rob Shenk, Creative Commons

This week and into January, the State Board of Education is holding a series of public hearings on revisions to the History and Social Science Standards of Learning.

Board President Christian Braunlich says the standards are updated every seven years, and he hopes the public will take a look at the proposed revisions.

The public hearings will be held at the following locations:

December 2 — Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center, 931
Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville

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. 

Fewer VA Schools Receive Full Accreditation

Sep 16, 2014

State education officials say more than 30% of Virginia’s public school did not meet full accreditation standards last year.

Here’s how the numbers break down from the Department of Education:

68% of the state’s 1827 schools were fully accredited based on Standards of Learning test results.  That’s down from 77% the previous year, and 93% two years ago.

The number of schools “accredited with warning” increased from 393 to 545.

Now that the state has cut back on the number of standards of learning tests administered in grades three through eight, officials in Richmond are looking for new ways to make sure kids are learning. 

They’ll meet August 18th to explore alternatives.

Many parents cheered when the state legislature eliminated five SOL tests, and teachers are also pleased according to Meg Gruber – President of the Virginia Education Association.

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