by Dick Hall-Sizemore
In a recent article, I discussed the progress that the Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Education have made toward fulfilling two of the top educational priorities of the administration—increasing the SOL “cut scores” and revamping the school accreditation process.
In my research for the article, I overlooked, and thus did not report, a presentation made at the Board’s October work session. The presenter was a senior policy fellow at ExcelinED, a nonprofit organization based in Florida. Using Florida as an example, she advocated the use of a school accountability system that ranks schools on a scale of A to F. Only a few states use such a system and doing so in Virginia would entail a radical change from the approach the Commonwealth has used in the past.
It seems that Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction, whom I assume has the most influence over what is presented at Board work sessions, is preparing the Board members, especially the new ones, for a major examination, and possible overhaul, of the school accreditation standards and process. It will not be something that can be done quickly or easily.
The presentation and video of the work session can be found here.
(A Hat Tip to Charles Pyle of the Dept. of Education for bringing this omission to my attention.)