RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Board of Education has scheduled five public hearings this summer on proposed revisions to the commonwealth’s school accreditation system and graduation requirements and on the board’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).
The proposed revisions to the board’s Standards of Accreditation would place increased emphasis on closing achievement gaps between student groups — and continuous improvement in all schools — while providing a more comprehensive view of school quality.
The revised regulations would also reduce the number of Standards of Learning tests students must pass to earn a high school diploma and implement the “Profile of a Virginia Graduate,” a set of expectations that includes the “5 C’s”: critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and citizenship, as well as achievement in English, mathematics, science, and history.
The accountability provisions of the Board of Education’s plan to implement ESSA are closely aligned with the proposed changes to the state’s accreditation standards. The federal education law requires states to intervene to raise student achievement in low-performing schools. The state board intends to submit its implementation plan to the U.S. Department of Education in September for review and approval.
The Board of Education also is soliciting comment on its five-year comprehensive plan that outlines the board’s long-term priorities and goals while providing a framework for future policy development.
The public hearings are scheduled as follows with all of the hearings beginning at 6:30 p.m.:
• Tuesday, June 27 — Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church
• Thursday, July 13 — Wytheville Community College, 1000 E Main St., Wytheville
• Tuesday, July 18 — Skyline Middle School, 470 Linda Lane, Harrisonburg
• Wednesday, August 9 — Old Donation School, 4633 Honeygrove Road, Virginia Beach
• Wednesday, August 23 — Park View High School, 205 Park View Circle, South Hill
Speakers may sign up in advance by contacting the Office of Board Relations or sign in upon arrival. Speakers are asked to limit comments to three minutes to allow time for the board to hear from all who wish to comment.
The board will also receive public comment during the meeting of its monthly business meeting on July 27. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Jefferson Room on the 22nd floor of the James Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th St., in Richmond.