Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jillian Balow was appointed as Virginia's 26th superintendent of public instruction by Governor Glenn Youngkin, effective January 15, 2022. As state superintendent, Balow serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, which is the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. Balow leads the external functions of the agency and also manages the internal operations. She also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education.
Balow was a classroom teacher for 10 years. She served in the Wyoming Department of Family Services, and as a policy advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead before being elected as Wyoming's state superintendent in 2014.
In Wyoming, Balow worked with tribal partners to create the “Indian Education for All” curriculum so that all Wyoming students would learn about the history and contributions of the state’s Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes.
She developed a support system for Wyoming’s lowest-performing schools and reduced the number of schools needing state assistance by 5%. Balow also incorporated career and military readiness into Wyoming’s accountability system and worked with business, industry, policymakers, and educators to include computer science education in every K-12 classroom.
Since becoming Virginia’s state superintendent, Balow has advocated for the Virginia Literacy Act and provided Governor Youngkin with a report on policy steps necessary to restore high expectations and excellence as objectives for all of the commonwealth’s students.
Nationally, Balow served as president of the Board of Directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers from 2019-2020. She is a member of the Hunt Institute's 2020 Cohort 6 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows. She also served as the Treasurer of the Education Commission of the States, the highest-ranking position a state superintendent can have in that organization.
Balow was recognized as the 2017 State Policymaker of the Year by the State Education Technology Directors Association and the 2016 Influencer of the Year by the Mott Foundation. In 2017, she received the Patrick Henry Award for distinguished partnership with the armed forces. In 2021, Balow was recognized as a Wyoming business “changemaker” for her response to COVID-19.
Videos from the Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Virginia Literacy Act
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow discusses the Virginia Literacy Act requiring evidence-based reading and literacy instruction in schools and teacher preparation programs. The legislation - sponsored by Delegate Carrie Coyner, R-Chesterfield and Senator Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth - was approved by the 2022 Virginia General Assembly.
Trends in Reading and Literacy
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow discusses recent trends in reading and literacy, including student performance on Standards of Learning assessments, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screener (PALS).
Communication & Reports Provided by the Superintendent
Weekly memoranda from the superintendent of public instruction are the means by which the Virginia Department of Education communicates official information to the commonwealth's school divisions. Superintendent's Memoranda are posted on Fridays.
Superintendent's Annual Report
The Superintendent's Annual Report contains educational statistics reported annually by school divisions to the Department of Education. The report includes tables on enrollment, pupil-teacher ratios, promotion, retention, graduation, dropouts, and attendance, as well as financial data and data on school division personnel.
Creative Commons Attribution
The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).