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Spotsy schools against new state regulations

The Spotsylvania County School Board passed two resolutions Monday evening aimed at challenging the state’s accountability regulations for public schools.

The resolutions challenge the creation of the Opportunity Educational Institution earlier this year by joining a lawsuit against, filed by the Virginia School Boards Association and Norfolk City Schools.

The suit asks the General Assembly to re-examine the public school assessment and accountability system.

Both passed unanimously and without discussion at the meeting.

The resolution concerning the regulations said the new regulations violate the Constitution because it “usurps the role of local school boards in supervising and managing the public schools of the Commonwealth.”

The School Boards Association encouraged school boards across the state to support the lawsuit.

The legislation was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell this year. It has the authority to take over local public schools that have been been denied accreditation and schools accredited with warnings for three consecutive years.

Berkeley District member Gil Seaux said he was “very much in favor of this resolution because the Constitution of Virginia very clearly delineates the responsibility of school boards. This is very important to pass.”

Ray Lora, Livingston District member, called voting on the resolution “the easiest decision I’ve ever made.”

The other resolution considering high-stakes standardized testing stated that the “state and federal accountability system’s over reliance on high stakes testing as the only meaningful measurement of school quality continues to strangle public schools and undermines educators’ ability to transform a traditional system of schooling into a broad range of learning experiences that better prepares our students to live successfully and be globally competitive.”

This resolution was also passed at the request of the School Boards Association.

Virginia’s accreditation results came out Friday.

Of Virginia’s 1,828 public schools, 23 percent missed full accreditation. That percentage is 7 percent more than last year.

The state said the decline is a statewide trend because of tougher tests in reading, writing, science and math, coupled with stricter pass-rate requirements.

None of the schools in the Fredericksburg area were denied accreditation.

In Spotsylvania County, Chancellor Middle and Spotswood Elementary were accredited with warnings, a designation that requires schools to develop improvement plans.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976

lestes@freelancestar.com

 

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