In carrying out four related initiatives, the Board of Education is developing a new vision for the commonwealth’s public schools that focuses on continuous improvement for all schools and aligning student outcomes with the expectations of higher education and employers from all sectors.
These initiatives include developing Virginia’s plan to implement the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, creating a “Profile of a Virginia Graduate” that defines what it means to be ready for life after high school, revising the Standards of Accreditation to reflect new graduation requirements and school accountability standards, and updating the Standards of Quality to reflect the needs of today’s students and schools.
Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA)
ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind and provides states with flexibility to improve accountability systems, assessments and overall approaches to school improvement. Virginia is developing a state implementation plan for the 2017-2018 school year that will align with revisions to state accountability requirements.
Profile of a Virginia Graduate
The Board of Education is redesigning the high school experience and developing a Profile of a Virginia Graduate to better align diploma requirements with the expectations of higher education and businesses.
The Profile of a Virginia Graduate describes the knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences students must attain during their K-12 education to be “life-ready” and prepared for success in college and/or the workplace. The profile creates a framework for revisions to the commonwealth’s graduation requirements that will go into effect with freshmen entering high school in the fall of 2018.
The profile will guide revisions to high school graduation expectations for students entering ninth grade in the fall of 2018. These revisions will be reflected in the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation or SOA), which are the regulations setting the expectations for education programs, graduation requirements, and school effectiveness. For more information on what the board is considering, read the Proposed Revisions to the SOA (PDF).
Standards of Accreditation (SOA)
The Board of Education is revising the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) to ensure that all children in the commonwealth have access to public schools that pursue academic excellence and continuous improvement while preparing their students for success in college and the workplace. Revisions to the SOA will be aligned with the state’s ESSA implementation plan and the Profile of a Virginia Graduate. For more information on what the board is considering, read the Proposed Revisions to the SOA (PDF).
Standards of Quality (SOQ)
The Board of Education is reviewing the Standards of Quality (SOQ) to formulate recommendations to the 2017 General Assembly on the foundational programs required for schools to meet today’s challenges and prepare Virginia’s increasingly diverse student population for success. For more information on what the board is considering, read the Recommendations to Revise the SOQ (PDF).
- The board held a series of public hearings in July and August to gather information and comments from families, educators, and community members on student expectations, how schools are accredited, and school resources. For more information, download the Public Hearings Presentation (PDF).
- The board will approve proposed revisions to the SOA and submit them for executive review, pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (the proposed changes must become effective for the freshman class of 2018-2019). For more information on what the board is considering, read the Proposed Revisions to the SOA (PDF).
- The board will make recommendations for revisions to the SOQ. For more information on what the board is considering, read the Recommendations to Revise the SOQ (PDF).
- The board will submit its annual report to the Governor and General Assembly. For more information, read the Draft Annual Report (PDF).
- There will be additional opportunities for public comment on ESSA implementation.
- ESSA state plan will be considered and approved by the board (the plan must be submitted to U.S. Department of Education by March 2017).
- The board will update its comprehensive plan.