Governor McAuliffe received the Standards of Learning (SOL) Innovation Committee’s second round of recommendations, which are aimed at improving how the Commonwealth measures and fosters student growth and achievement, and how it evaluates schools. The recommendations include proposed improvements at the high school level to better prepare students to succeed in the new Virginia economy.
“I told members of the SOL Innovation Committee to be bold and creative, and they did not disappoint,”Governor Terry McAuliffe said. “These new recommendations build on the success of the proposals put forward last year and ensure that our students are getting the skills they need to be successful citizens and members of the 21st century workforce. Students, parents, teachers and administrators throughout the Commonwealth have called for further educational reform, and the Committee has responded with a series of thoughtful proposals.”
These new recommendations recognize a school’s responsibility to educate and nurture the whole child and to better align the work of high schools with the skills required to succeed in today’s workforce. The Committee’s seven proposals call for shorter and more developmentally appropriate assessments, including those that are responsive to the needs of English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
“I am so proud of what the SOL Innovation Committee has accomplished this year,” Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. “This diverse group of educators, administrators, legislators, business leaders, parents and advocates has made recommendations that, when implemented, will help our K-12 system adapt to the 21stcentury and better ensure student success.”
The bipartisan Committee, which was created by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor McAuliffe in 2014, released 12 recommendations last November. Those recommendations were well received by policymakers, acted upon by the General Assembly and Board of Education, and have led to real changes through actions of the Virginia Department of Education and local divisions. Last year’s progress created a strong foundation on which this most recent round of proposals was built.
The 2015 recommendations will now be sent to the Board of Education and the General Assembly for their consideration and implementation.
“The members of the SOL Innovation Committee are continuing to provide the necessary focus to advance student-centered, community-driven recommendations,” said Committee Chairman, Stewart Roberson. “The Committee has heeded its bipartisan charge, and the Commonwealth has reason to be proud of the work that these citizens have already achieved and will continue to produce.”
Over the coming year, the Committee will examine a variety of additional issues, including those related to instruction, assessment, and accountability.