How Did Virginia Do on the Latest Educational Report Card? You Don’t Want to Ask

The results are out for the 16th edition of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Report Card on American Education. Virginia fares reasonably well on academic achievement — 12th best in the nation. (Just remember that 12th best in the United States isn’t very high compared to international norms.) And that’s the highlight. Alas, the Old Dominion earns no more than a C- for its reform efforts.

Among the very few pieces of good news, Virginia showed gains for low-income children in the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test between 2003 and 2009. On the negative side, only 38% of all 4th graders met NAEP’s “proficiency” standards for reading.

ALEC’s grade for reform reflects the organization’s policy priorities: enacting higher academic and proficiency standards, promoting charter schools and school choice, not over-regulating home schooling, encouraging online earning, and devising policies for retaining good teachers and removing bad ones.

Why the low public policy score? Virginia’s academic standards rate a D+, there is very little school choice, and policies for improving the overall caliber of teachers is weak. About the best that could be said about educational reform in Virginia is that it rates a “c” for moderate levels of home school regulation and for retaining effective teachers.

See Virginia’s profile here. — JAB

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One response to “How Did Virginia Do on the Latest Educational Report Card? You Don’t Want to Ask”

  1. just to point something out that the other countries that best us on academic achievement do not fret about charter schools, home schooling or school choice – nor bad teachers – you’ll find even stronger union-like employment characteristics in those other countries,

    What they do have is national curriculums and a system that does not care if a kid is poor or even has less than wonderful parenting…. they teach them to the standards especially in the K-6 grades

    Kids in Europe and Asia that are not college-bound have to meet the same rigorous core academic standards as those who are college bound.

    we worry and fret …. and blame…. rather than confronting the harsh reality that we really don’t care what happens in education as long as our kids are doing okay….

    even though….. your kid that does well in school – is going to grow up having to fork over a significant amount of his/her income for entitlements for those kids who do not have an adequate education.

    We leave kids behind. And when we pass a law that requires us to report how many get left behind – we argue about teaching-to-the-test and getting rid of NCLB….. because we really don’t want to deal with the 60% of the kids who did not get an education that will allow them to compete for a job in the 21st century.

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