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VBOE is seeking input on the proposed method of school accreditation



Salem, Virginia – Regarding its recently implemented school assessment system, the Virginia Department of Education is seeking input.

The Virginia Board of Education has been working on revamping Virginia’s accrediting process for the last two years.

The objective is to concentrate on the general well-being of schools, according to state superintendent Lisa Coons.

“You’re trying to make something clear and transparent, that is complex. It’s about how a school’s health is. And it’s not just how students are doing today. It’s how they’re growing over time. Are they meeting this standard? And are they mastering things they need to master?” said Coons.

The primary goal is to foster community trust by providing openness and access to useful information.

“What we know is our current system 93% of our schools were accredited before the pandemic 90% were accredited after the pandemic, it didn’t show the needs, where our schools were struggling and how to support them,” added Coons.

Two structures in the new system are centered on student outcomes. There are three divisions for school performance: elementary, middle, and high school.

Growth, readiness, and mastery.

The categories influencing the difficulties some minority pupils bring to school, however, are cause for concern.

“If the premise is that we are not labeling schools A through F, or whatever, the public will already do that, based on these colors and these categories,” said one person who attended the meeting. “It’s strong to a label to using the previous wording that doesn’t really provide an accurate picture of the progress being made.”

The student’s test results are used to determine the Mastery, previous SOL test data are used to predict an expected score for the growth, and preparation varies by school level.

According to Coons, their goal is to determine which areas require student support.

“The intent of this school is not to negatively impact but instead call out the health of the school, what the school needs, regardless of the student groups, or if there are particular student groups that need help and make sure that we are providing the supports and advocating for the supports, through a structure that truly tells the story of the school,” said Coons.


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