Standards of Learning Committee Contemplates Testing Changes

The committee put together to examine the state’s testing reforms is expected to make their recommendations to the Virginia General Assembly before the end of the year, reports The Daily Press.

Committee member and state Sen. John Miller D-Newport News stated “I think this will be the vehicle or education reform in Virginia for many years to come.”

Legislation passed earlier this year already cut some of the state’s required Standards of Learning tests. This committee was created in order to create new testing strategies that will better benefit the students and help them to learn, while taking up less class time and maintaining the same accountability expected from standardized tests.

A draft discussed Tuesday establishes almost a dozen “desired results”. According to the Daily press dome of these examples of these results include

  • “Potentially substantive changes in the organization and operation of of Virginia’s schools, especially high schools to better encourage student engagement.”
  • “On demand testing options so that students take high-stakes tests when they’re ready, not during a fixed testing window.”
  • “Granting expedited re-takes already available to high school students to elementary and middle school students as well.”
  • “Shifting high school graduation requirements to include authentic evidence of student competencies instead of focusing on primarily on a tally of classes completed.”
  • “Fewer and broader learning goals to allow deeper more intensive study of key topics.”
  • “Minimizing the negative impacts on teaching for tests that show student achievement but do not, in themselves, serve an instructional purpose.”
  • “Potentially keeping some tests as diagnostic tools, but not using them in school-by-school accreditation ratings.”

More discussion is expected in an October subcommittee meeting before the committee fully supports any of them.

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