Innovation Sharing in Virginia Schools

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This may be the most promising initiative I’ve seen coming out of Virginia’s educational establishment in a couple of years. Press release from the Virginia Department of Education:

Teams of educators from 31 school divisions gathered last week [in Chesterfield County] to share ideas on how to accelerate innovation and promote deeper learning in the commonwealth’s public schools. The educators make up the first cohort of the Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network. …

The innovation network’s goals are to promote deeper learning at all grade levels and to align instruction and assessment across the state with the expectations of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate. The profile — which was adopted by the state Board of Education in November 2016 — describes the knowledge, skills, attributes, and experiences identified by the board, higher education and employers as critical for future success.

Of course, the sharing of educational best practices does nothing to advance the Narrative of Endemic Racism, so it’s not surprising that we read nothing of it in any of Virginia’s newspapers. I didn’t attend the gathering, so I can’t vouch for the quality of ideas exchanged. But the meeting sounds like a win-win proposition.

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2 responses to “Innovation Sharing in Virginia Schools”

  1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Call me cynical, if you will, but I will reserve judgment on this initiative. I have been to too many of such gatherings to have much hope. The press release is full of bureaucratese. What is “deeper learning”? And everybody talks about innovation–that’s a favorite feel-good word. But, I suppose that it is always good for professionals, teachers and others, to get together and share new ideas. (Of course, I thought that was what conventions and conferences were for.)

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I’m with Dick on this………. has an “open classroom”, “new math” feel to it

      When I hear a group say they’ve figured out how to successfully teach low-income kids and get them into College – I’ll sit up straight and listen.

      Went to a book lecture last night – Great LIves series at the University of Mary Washington. The book is entitled Rocket Girls. It’s along the same lines of Hidden Figures –,204,203,200_.jpg

      recounts how women were discriminated against back in the day but she also presented a chart showing how many female students are pursuing hard science/STEM degrees these days and it’s about 15%, hasn’t changed in decades.

      The author – Nathalia Holt – did not know why but I am told that in grade school lots of girls are interested in STEM but by the end of Middle School only a very few remain on that track.

      Truth is most American kids shy away from real math and science these days and part of the problem is that teachers themselves shy away from it. Kids from other countries are taking the tech jobs.

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