With both houses of the General Assembly having passed numerous bills, including their respective proposed budgets, certain legislative accomplishments from the House of Delegates are worth noting.
This is especially true with regard to education and K-12 reforms, where our Republican majority demonstrated remarkable leadership.
In my campaign for office, I emphasized my belief that decisions regarding a child’s education are best addressed by localities and parents who should enjoy more options and flexibility.
I promised to look for ways to improve how we assess achievement under the Standards of Learning and provide more avenues for student success.
I also discussed supporting our teachers by rewarding excellence and enhancing opportunities within the profession.
Today, I am proud to report that, in the proposals detailed below, these objectives were substantially pursued in this my first year as a lawmaker.
HB 930, a bill for which I am a co-patron, reforms the Standards of Learning assessments.
In particular, this legislation provides that the amount and type of assessments shall not exceed a certain number in the elementary and middle school grade levels.
This measure also requires the secretary of education to establish the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to periodically review the Standards of Learning assessments.
It also allows localities to administer alternative assessments pursuant to particular guidelines.
HB 324 establishes the Board of the Virginia Virtual School as an executive branch policy agency responsible for governing the online educational programs offered to students enrolled in the Virginia Virtual School.
This virtual school must be open to any student in the commonwealth in kindergarten through grade 12 and meet the established Standards of Quality.
HJ 1 directs the Virginia Department of Education to study the feasibility of implementing a Teacher Career Ladder program in the commonwealth.
In conducting this study, implementation of similar programs in other states will be considered and recommendations will be made for successful implementation in Virginia.
Components for consideration under the program include prospects for additional earning opportunities and bonus pay for teachers.
Importantly, the study will evaluate ways the Teacher Career Ladder program can reinforce individualized student growth through exceptional, individualized teaching.
The Constitution of Virginia requires that the General Assembly provide for a system of public education that is of high quality.
We know that by meeting this obligation, we position our children, and our community, for greater future success.
Del. Les Adams of Chatham represents the 16th District, which includes most of Pittsylvania County, Martinsville, and part of Henry County.