It appears that while state lawmakers have lots of work to do in hashing out a compromise over Medicaid, they HAVE made some progress with education reforms that relate to the budget. The General Assembly revised the Standards of Learning assessments, charter school enrollment policy, and the process to measure schools using an A through F grading system.
Virginia’s School Board Association and the Norfolk Board of Education are suing the state to stop implementation of a new law that would allow Richmond to take over local schools when they consistently fail Standards of Learning tests.
State lawmakers recently approved the establishment of a new organization – the Opportunity Educational Institution or OEI. Its job – to take over the supervision and operation of any local school accredited by the state with a warning for three consecutive years. Barbara Coyle heads the Virginia School Boards Association.
Standards of Learning pass rates are now posted—and Virginia students posted gains in math SOL tests that were new two years ago.
But as officials predicted, scores on new, more rigorous English and science tests dropped, according to the data.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia Wright says students are now being challenged by the standards to achieve new levels of mastery at each grade level. She says the online-writing component is a very different approach than the traditional multiple-choice tests often associated with SOLs.
If voters can wade through the scandals facing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and his GOP rival, Ken Cuccinelli, they'll find substantive events where both candidates present ideas for the Commonwealth’s future.