Like kids, schools will get letter grades
Students will not be the only ones who may dread showing their grades to parents. Starting in 2014, each Virginia public school will get a very public letter grade ranging from A to F.
On the last day of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed a bill creating a system to rate each school on an A-to-F grading scale based on student performance.
The final version of House Bill 1999 was approved on a 22-17 vote in the Senate and a 65-31 vote in the House. This version had been negotiated through a conference committee of members from both chambers.
One difference between the conference committee’s report and the original draft of HB 1999 involves when the schools will receive their first letter grade.
In the original bill, schools would have been assigned a letter grade by October 2013. The grade would have been based primarily on state accreditation ratings and would not have taken into account students’ educational growth.
Under the adopted version, schools will not be given a grade until October 2014 after the Virginia Board of Education establishes standards to measure student growth.
Students’ academic growth will be based on statewide tests and school test scores. The numbers will be compared with scores from previous year scores and statewide averages.
The Virginia Association of School Superintendents has concerns about the grading system. It takes away the constitutional power of the cities and county governments to manage their own educational systems, said Pat Russo, president-elect of VASS and superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools.
VASS is concerned that if a school gets an F, it will be placed under state authority – usurping local control.
However, Gov. Bob McDonnell believes an A-F grading system will allow for more transparency about the performance of Virginia’s schools. McDonnell received support from two prominent Republicans – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – who had implemented such systems in their states.
HB 1999 was sponsored by Delegate Thomas “Tag” Greason, R-Lansdowne.
The Varina Ruritan Club celebrated its 80th anniversary with a banquet Nov. 10, during which it presented several annual awards, including Policeman of the Year – to Henrico Officer Aaron M. Lancaster (top) – and Firefighter of the Year – to Julian T. Lipscomb (second from top).
The club also received a plaque from the Henrico Division of Fire (third from top) expressing the division's appreciation for the club and its support of fire prevention programs. > Read more.
The grand opening of The Rink outdoor ice skating rink at West Broad Village will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, beginning at 11 a.m. with skating and family activities. At 4 p.m., grand opening festivities – featuring exhibitions of ice sculpting, ice skating and cheering, as well as fire pits, costumed characters, and food vendors – will begin. Skating costs are $8 for children and $10 for adults, with $4 skate rentals available. Parking is free. The Rink is located at 3939 Duckling Drive, Glen Allen. For details, visit http://www.Facebook.com/TheRinkWBV > Read more.
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CalendarThe Rotary Club of Innsbrook meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at The Place at Innsbrook. For details, visit http://www.innsbrookrotary.org Full text