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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

VDOE takes first steps to adopt new accountability system

Timeline+showing+the+progress+of+the+new+proposed+plan+over+the+course+of+the+last+two+years+
Advik Sood
Timeline showing the progress of the new proposed plan over the course of the last two years

Eight board sessions held in each of the eight Virginia school regions all find themselves connected by one singular matter this new year: accountability. As the school year nears its midway mark, the Virginia Board of Education (VDOE) has initiated the process to rework its school-accountability measures.

Most states’ educational systems include an accreditation system, which certifies that schools are meeting state legislature requirements and an accountability system that measures how schools are meeting the educational needs of their students. Virginia schools however, run solely with the accreditation system.

“Right now we just get an accreditation report, which basically is yes you’re fully accredited or no you’re not,” principal Dr. Amy Goodloe said. “[It is] interesting to note that Virginia is one of the only states that doesn’t have growth measures.”

LIke other parts of the country, Virginia schools saw a historic loss in their 2021-2022 state standardized learning scores, which remained below pre-pandemic state levels. In response, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) issued a statement that condemned the current system for being unable to properly reflect learning loss and achievement gaps. He further linked the failures of the system as one of the reasons for the decline in scores the state had seen for the past two years. 

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“Online you don’t have as much responsibility, so people got used to not attending class and paying attention,” sophomore Janya Shrivastava said. “Then students started to struggle because once we came back, it was hard to [re-adjust]. Students started doing worse than before.” 

Youngkin’s office also cited a lack of transparency in the current system and called for a new accountability plan that would benefit both parents and local school divisions when it comes to keeping track of academic achievement and progress. Specifically, he emphasized the idea of information being reported in a timely manner. 

“Now there would be opportunities for schools to track growth targets, and that could really help,” Goodloe said. “I think that could actually be a better measure on how schools are doing.” 

In June, VDOE superintendent Lisa Coons introduced a new proposed plan to the Virginia General Assembly, and it was officially approved during a September  meeting. The VDOE also held sessions in November and December in each of the Virginia school regions in an effort to allow the community to share their own input on what they would like the new system to include. 

“Getting to hear from the community can never be a bad thing,” counselor Michelle Ranere said. “[Community sessions] will give people and educators the chance to share what they want in their classrooms.” 

The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA), however, has criticized the new plan. Members highlighted how the proposed plan, which contains a clause that would include overall school ratings, could hurt schools’ rankings. Since research has shown that higher school rankings draw in more wealthy families and higher access to resources for school districts, the VSBA fears that lower rankings would cause schools to lose out on these opportunities. ‘’Even with [those concerns], the benefits of the proposed system do outweigh the potential finding risks,”

Shrivastava said, “It’s worth it to put in the effort to do something like this, because we have to try it eventually if we want to help schools in the future.’’ 

As they continue to make progress in creating the new system, the VDOE projects that the new plan will be implemented by the 2025-2026 school year. 

“Sometimes we have students who need extra time to reach benchmarks, and it can be very discouraging to just be told that you didn’t reach a benchmark or that you won’t be able to graduate on time,” Goodloe said. “If the new plan lets us look ahead to more growth measures, it’s going to set students up for that future success.” 

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About the Contributor
Advik Sood, News Editor
Advik is a sophomore in his second year with The Purple Tide. He is a part of the CHS debate team and Key Club. In his free time, he competitively plays board games with his friends and enjoys watching the newest movies.
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