Virginia's House of Delegates unanimously passed a Standards of Learning reform bill Feb. 11, much to the praise of Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his administration.
House Bill 930, sponsored by local state Del. Tag Greason (R-32nd), would “reduce the number of SOLs; improve the tests to encourage a sharper focus on problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge application skills; increase flexibility for local school leaders who want to administer their own local assessments; and create a process to further evaluate and improve the SOLs,” said Mr. Greason.
Gov. McAuliffe, who often touched on reforming Standards of Learning tests on the campaign trail, was quick applaud the Republican-led House's action.
“This legislation was the product of the leadership of Dels. Greason and Krupicka, who worked alongside Secretary of Education Anne Holton and my policy team to craft a bill that will allow the commonwealth to track student performance while better freeing teachers to teach and students to learn,” Gov. McAuliffe said in a prepared statement. “As the legislation moves to the Senate, my team and I will continue to engage actively with the process to bring legislation to my desk to reform the SOLs and strengthen Virginia’s ability to prepare our students to lead in the 21st century economy.”
The legislation will reduce the number of SOL tests in grades three through eight from 22 to 17; requires each local school board to certify that it has provided instruction and administered an alternative assessment, in conformance with board guidelines, for each subject area in which the Standards of Learning assessment was not administered; and require the secretary of education to establish the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to periodically review the Standards of Learning and assessments.
With Gov. McAuliffe's vocal support and the resounding approval from the GOP-led House, Mr. Greason's legislation enters the Senate with a robust wave of momentum.
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