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Mace & Crown | April 24, 2018

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Virginia Education Reform Passes Senate

Virginia Education Reform Passes Senate

Gov. Bob McDonnel is hoping successful education reforms implemented by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in his state will produce similar results in Virginia.

Gov. Bobby Jindal implemented the system in 2005 in his home state of Louisiana after the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina and has been met with great support by his constituents.

At a fundraiser in Richmond held by U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Jandal spoke about his plan that allows the state to take over “grade-F” schools.

The reforms are an essential component to Gov. McDonnell’s education agenda now in the General Assembly after a tie-breaking vote by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in the Senate.  The bills aim to hold schools and school districts accountable for their performance using the same A-to-F scale that is implemented on its students.  The new system would be a change from the current system that lists schools as accredited, accredited with warning, or not accredited which has been highly criticized by Gov. McDonnell and the Virginia Department of Education.

Gov. McDonnell’s proposal would create an Opportunity Education Institution which would take over the management of schools that receive an ‘F’ in performance for two consecutive school years.  Once implemented, the Opportunity Education Institution would consist of an 11-member board and assume control of six Virginia schools that already meet the failing requirement.

“As someone who is entering the education field in Virginia, I hope his agenda will begin to improve the quality of the schools in Virginia for both the teachers and the students, but there still needs to be more done to help than just changing a grading scale to match the students’,” said Victoria Davis, a graduate student.

Though McDonnell’s agenda has passed successfully through both chambers of the General Assembly, the future for this hopeful change to Virginia’s education system is unclear.

By: Josh Bray

Contributing Writer