Nine of Ten Schools Accredited Under New State Standards

Ninety-two percent of all Virginia public schools are accredited under new state standards, according to data released by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) this morning. Seven percent of schools were accredited “with conditions.” Accreditation was withheld for only one school.

However, 322 schools will undergo academic reviews or implement corrective action plans under the new approach. That compares with 250 schools last year.

The new standards, approved by the state Board of Education last year, recognize the academic growth of students making “significant progress” toward meeting grade-level expectations in English and mathematics.

“I am pleased that these ratings show that — in the vast majority of our schools — most students are either meeting or exceeding Virginia’s high standards, or they are on their way toward grade-level proficiency,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said in a VDOE press release. “But the ratings also reveal that in many schools, there are achievement gaps undetected by the previous accreditation system. … We hope that by shining a light on these gaps our schools will continue to develop innovative strategies that result in equitable outcomes for our children.”

Added Board of Education President Daniel A. Gecker: “Rather than putting a label on a school, we are helping schools and the communities they serve set priorities and plan for continuous improvement.”

The new system places schools in one of three categories.

Level One schools “meet or exceeds” the state standard or demonstrates “sufficient improvement.” The state will continue to monitor their performance but no additional action is called for.

Level Two schools are near the state standard of sufficient improvement. The school and division must “implement essential actions and research-based strategies” to improve performance. Also, the school must “undergo an academic review conducted by VDOE or under department guidance.”

Level Three schools are below the state standard. These schools must undergo VDOE academic review and, in consultation with VDOE, “develop and implement a corrective action plan.”

“This new system provides parents and other members of school communities with a clearer understanding of what schools are doing well and where they need to improve,” Secretary of Education Atif Qarni said. “They will be able to look at the online School Quality Profile report for a school and instantly see how the school is performing on each school quality indicator and drill down to more detailed information.”

School-by-school quality data and accreditation ratings can be viewed in School Quality Profile reports on the VDOE website.

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2 responses to “Nine of Ten Schools Accredited Under New State Standards”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I watched Superintendent Lane present this new approach to a committee the other day, and it has great logic. A simple pass/fail, “accredited” or “not accredited” is not that useful. The goal is to make improvements, not punish. They are doing things to intentionally reduce that stigma. But they are doing once again what I have seen the educational establishment often do over the years – changing the rules so significantly that long-term comparisons and longitudinal tracking are impossible.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    I agree with Steve. The ” you failed to meet standards and you’re all gonna die” is not a good system and one that recognizes success and encourages more time on task to keep the upward momentum is better.

    No teacher wants to go to a “failed” school but others will go to where there is challenge and optimism… and credit for success.

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