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.
Dr. Even Alexander, a New York Times best-selling author who has been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, was in town last week to promote his June 27 talk, "Proof of Heaven," at Glen Allen High School.
Alexander (pictured, at right, while Unity of Bon Air church member Harry Simmons interviews him) has written about what he considers to be his journey through the afterlife.
Tickets to this month's event are $25 and will support the new Bon Secours Hospice House being built later this year. > Read more.
The Innsbrook Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2015, has completed a number of volunteer projects this year and raised thousands of dollars for various organizations through three events.
The club's annual rose sale, benefit for youth live auction and Virginia Fire Games competition, combined with individual and corporate donations, have raised nearly $70,000 – money that the club contributes back to the community.
FeedMore is the beneficiary of the club's 25th anniversary project, which provides refrigerated trailers to be used for the distribution of food throughout Central Virginia. > Read more.
For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarThe Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District will offer a DIY Rain Barrel Workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Henrico County Human Services building, 8600 Dixon Powers… Full text