Burke Lawmakers Vote Against Plan That Would Grade Schools A Through F

Burke Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st) and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th) voted against the measure that would give all schools letter grades.

By Samantha Morgan, Capital News Service

Gov. Bob McDonnell praised the Virginia House of Delegates after legislators bassed a bill Monday he said would provide a simpler way to understand a school’s performance and the state’s accreditation system.

Delegates voted 54-40 to approve House Bill 1999, which would require the Virginia Board of Education to grade each school on an A-F scale. Burke area representative Del. Dave Albo (R-42nd) voted for the measure while Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st) and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th) voted against the measure.

The bill, sponsored by Del.  Thomas “Tag” Greason (R-Landsdowne), is part of McDonnell’s K-12 legislative agenda. 

Under the bill, the board would develop a grading system for all schools by Aug. 1.  The letter grade would be given in addition to the state’s more detailed standards of accreditation for individual school performance.

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“I was pleased by the bipartisan support in the House of Delegates for our common-sense plan to bring more transparency and accountability to Virginia’s public schools. I encourage my friends in the Senate to support this legislation that will provide a simpler way to understand a school’s performance on the state’s accreditation system,” McDonnell said.

The senate also passed a similar bill Monday in a 40-0 vote.

During a conference call with reporters Friday, McDonnell called upon Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, in an effort to rally support for the letter-grade plan. During Bush’s first term in office, the A-F grading system was implemented in all Florida public schools

McDonnell said the grading scale was a tool parents and families can use to "advocate for and achieve better schools for their communities."

"If we aren’t giving students in every ZIP code the opportunity for a world-class education, we have failed them," he said.

Do you think your child's school should be graded? Tell us in the comments.

Patch Editor Erica R. Hendry reported for this story.


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