Education in Virginia addresses the needs of students from pre-kindergarten through adult education. Virginia's educational system consistently ranks in the top ten states on the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, with Virginia students outperforming the average in almost all subject areas and grade levels tested.The 2010 Quality Counts report ranked Virginia's K–12 education fourth best in the country. All school divisions must adhere to educational standards set forth by the Virginia Department of Education, which maintains an assessment and accreditation regime known as the Standards of Learning to ensure accountability. In 2008, 81% of high school students graduated on-time after four years. The 1984 Virginia Assembly stated that, "Education is the cornerstone upon which Virginia's future rests."
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It began operating on May 4, 1980, having been created after the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was split into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services by the Department of Education Organization Act, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law on October 17, 1979.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what U.S. students know and can do in various subjects. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. The first national administration of NAEP occurred in 1969. The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) is an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for NAEP and is responsible for developing the framework and test specifications.The National Assessment Governing Board, whose members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education, includes governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988.
|Education in the United States|
The Syms School was founded in 1635, as the first free school in the Americas, but this was not the first attempt at establishing an education system. The first attempt was a move in 1619-1620 by the London Company to begin a school to educate Indian children in Christianity. The second attempt, known as the "East India School", was meant to educate white children in the colony of Virginia.During the colonial period, Virginia was one of the first colonies to establish schools and colleges, such as The College of William and Mary in 1693.
Thomas Jefferson drafted a "Bill for More General Diffusion of Knowledge" to create a universal public education, but most planters at the time did not want tax money to go to educating poor children. Nonetheless, Thomas Jefferson started the first public university, The University of Virginia, in 1819.The first free public school systems were established around 1851, although unlike Northern and Western states, public education was not required under the Virginia state constitution until 1870, after an innovation in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868 (although paying for such education became controversial in the next decade).
The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868, was an assembly of delegates elected by the voters to establish the fundamental law of Virginia following the American Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The Convention, which met from December 3, 1867 until April 17, 1868, set the stage for enfranchising freedmen, Virginia's readmission to Congress and an end to Congressional Reconstruction.
In addition to the free schools, "pay schools" also existed, particularly for education beyond simple literacy. Before the American Civil War, rich families employed private tutors. Other schools were funded at least partially by parents within a community, and they also had control over the school as a community. Some were known as field schools, because communities often built in a field by the community. After the American Civil War, the Peabody Foundation distributed funds to help construct field schools, as later did the Rosenwald Foundation, which established Rosenwald Schools in Virginia and other Southern states to assist in educating African Americans. Church groups also established schools, especially to educate Native Americans and remote mountain communities. Rev. Frederick Never established over a dozen in the Blue Ridge Mountains, of which Blue Ridge School still exists today. Baptist and other missionaries founded others, including the Manassas Industrial School and Rappahannock Industrial Academy. Some schools operated only in the winter months so students could assist their farming families; others closed during the winter months. Privately funded education also included private tutors or boarding schools abroad for richer or luckier families.
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, and extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range.
Blue Ridge School is a private, all-male boarding school for students grades 9-12 located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Saint George, Virginia, near Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. The school was originally founded in 1909 by The Rev. George P. Mayo, an Episcopalian clergyman, as the Blue Ridge Industrial School, a school for the rural mountain students living in the region. It closed in 1960. The Blue Ridge School of today opened in 1962 as an all-boys boarding college prep school. Approximately 185 students attend Blue Ridge from 27 states and 15 foreign countries, with many from Virginia and other Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The school's campus is 751 acres (3 km²) in Greene County, Virginia, adjoining Brokenback Mountain at the edge of Shenandoah National Park in the Appalachian Mountains. The campus features a picturesque lake, miles of hiking and bike trails and rustic local stone buildings. The headmaster is "Trip" Darren, since 2012.
Virginia built many schools after World War I and again after World War II, but such barely kept up with population growth. Virginia had among the lowest tax rates in the nation, so local school boards often scrimped on school construction. Before $45 million in appropriations during the administration of Governor John S. Battle, per pupil expenditures and teacher salaries both remained below national averages, and the state ranked last nationally in percentage of high school age children actually attending high school, and next-to-last in college age children going to college.
John Stewart Battle was an American lawyer and politician who served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and as the 56th Governor of Virginia.
However, with the collapse of Massive Resistance in the 1960s, Virginia school expenditures increased, as did educational standards.
Now, Virginia has 134 school divisions that are governed by local school boards. Within these divisions, approximately 1,900 schools provide an education for over one million students.
Governor Tim Kaine launched an initiative for state-funding of pre-kindergarten education. These programs are focused on children with "at risk" demographics to assist them in performing well at the K-12 levels. During the 2008 General Assembly session, Governor Kaine backed $22 million expansion to increase the accessibility of Pre-K education for at-risk four-year-olds.
Public K–12 schools in Virginia are generally operated by the counties and cities, and not by the state. As of April 2010 [update] , a total of 1,259,623 students were enrolled in 1,881 local and regional schools in the Commonwealth, including three charter schools, and an additional 109 alternative and special education centers across 132 school divisions. Between 2000 and 2008, school enrollment increased 5%, the number of teachers 21%.
Besides the general public schools in Virginia, there are Governor's Schools and selective magnet schools. The Governor's Schools are a collection of more than 40 regional high schools and summer programs intended for gifted students. state accredited and 141 non-accredited private schools. An additional 23,290 students receive homeschooling.The Virginia Council for Private Education oversees the regulation of 294
Nine high schools in the Northern Virginia region are ranked in the top 100 nationwide by Newsweek magazine.In addition, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which requires an application, is listed as the best public high school in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report . All Northern Virginia schools pay the test fees for students to take Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and Alexandria and Arlington lead the nation in college course tests.
Virtual Virginia (VVa) is the Department of Education's system for providing online courses to students. These classes are mostly Advanced Placement classes for students who are home schooled or go to a public high school (some courses are offered to middle school students) where the course is not taught. These courses are offered free of charge to students enrolled through a high school, but not to those in private or home schooling, or those who are out of state.This program got its start in the 1980s, when AP courses were offered through satellite schools to students in Virginia, mostly to those in rural areas without many other education options. The program became known as the Virginia Satellite Education Network (VSEN). That program got combined with Virtual Virginia Advanced Placement School to become what it is today.
VVa currently offers a total of 54 classes; 23 of them are AP and 21 are for foreign languages.These classes are mostly one or two semester courses, with a select few being offered during the summer. The school is run through Desire2Learn, a web-based course management system which presents the lesson material through an internet browser. This allows courses to be taken on virtually any computer, since there is no additional software requirement.
In October 2010, the vetting process used to approve history text books came into question over a fourth grade book entitled Our Virginia: Our Past and Present by Joy Masoff. Masoff is not a trained historian, but had previously published Oh Yikes! History's Grossest Moments. Her text, which had been approved by the State Department of Education, claims that thousands of slaves fought for the South during the Civil War. Most historians disagree with that view.Although Virginia is one of 20 states that have a state-level process for approving text books, the book had been reviewed by a committee that did not include any trained historians. Virginia's curriculum requires that the African-Americans' role in the Civil War be covered, including their work on plantations and on the sidelines of battles. So Masoff conducted internet research on the topic and found three references derived from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who believe that slavery was not the main cause of the American Civil War. The Department of Education has said it will contact school divisions and advise against teaching the passage. On October 21, the publisher of Our Virginia: Our Past and Present, which Masoff owns, announced that it will distribute sticker labels that can be used to cover the disputed paragraph.
Virginia has a statewide system of support and accountability for its public schools.These standards hold the state accountable for rigorous academic standards, called the Standards of Learning (SOL). Success is measured through annual SOL testing and also through alternative testing. The standards test students in English, math, science, and social studies. Tests are conducted at the end of 3rd, 5th, 8th grade, and at the end of some high school courses in all subjects, but English and math are tested in grades 3-8, and also at the end of some high school courses. Testing depends on the curriculum, and can occur at any grade level according to what the curriculum says. In 2001, there was parental resistance to the Standards of Learning, or SOLs, saying they were unrealistic goals. By 2004, students were required to take a series of 11 exams that were all based on the SOLs. By 2007, in order for a school to keep its accreditation, they must have a 70% pass rate of the SOLs among their students. They also argued that the tests did not accurately match what was in the curriculum. As stated by the Standards of Learning Objectives, "The Standards of Learning Program Establishes a framework for general education in the public schools in Virginia. It includes objectives to help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes believed necessary for further education and employment." When the standards were first implemented, some veteran teachers saw them as a loss, while some inexperienced teachers viewed them as a gain to the educational system. Losses might include things like a sense of a loss of power, and gains might be seen as things like a great opportunity for collaboration between teachers. The major goal of having standards for curriculum is to create quality American schools. Diane Ravitch is one of the predominant people to help write the standards, and she says that "standards give clear expectations for students, teachers, parents, colleges, and employers that will result in improved student achievement".
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was actually signed into law on January 8, 2002 by President George W. Bush. It is commonly abbreviated as NCLB. It was a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and some say that it was one of the most significant pieces of legislation to affect education in the last 30 years.No Child Left Behind was designed to hold schools accountable for students' proficiency, as determined by testing procedures. NCLB states that the 4 major goals are "stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching options that have been proven to work.". The goal of NCLB was to have all students testing at proficient levels by the 2012-2013 school year. It also says that 95% of all eligible students must be taking the SOL tests. "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP), which is meeting the target proficiency ratings, must be met by the schools annually. If two consecutive years pass where a school does not meet AYP, then they get labeled as "needing improvement", and supplemental services may be offered. No Child Left Behind also regulates employment of teachers, by requiring that all teachers are "highly qualified". Although the overall goal of No Child Left Behind is full of good intentions, it does not meet all students' needs, for example, high-achieving, "gifted" students. NCLB also has implications for teachers, by putting a lot of pressure on the educators in the public school system to get the required proficiency results. Some have also argued that NCLB legislation prevents the teaching of civics, because the curriculum is so focused on other content areas. This could be detrimental, because the foundation of the public education system was to help students develop into productive citizens.
As of 2010 [update] , there are 167 colleges and universities in Virginia. In the U.S. News and World Report ranking of public colleges, the University of Virginia is second and The College of William & Mary is sixth. James Madison University has been recognized as the number one regional public master's university in The South since 1993. Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked the number one public university in Fine Arts in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report. The Virginia Military Institute is the oldest state military college and a top ranked public liberal arts college. Liberty University is also the largest university in Virginia with over 92,000 students, followed closely by Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Tech and Virginia State University are the state's land-grant universities. Virginia also operates 23 community colleges on 40 campuses serving over 288,000 students. There are 120 private institutions, including Washington and Lee University, Emory & Henry College, Hampden–Sydney College, Roanoke College, and the University of Richmond.
Virginia law requires each public college or university to publish the amount of its fees separate from its tuition. As reported in the Washington Post, athletic fees have grown in recent years. Athletic fees typically go to a separate fund to pay for intercollegiate athletic teams. Over the past 10 years, the average athletic fee at 14 public universities has doubled from $530 to $986. All students at an institution must pay the athletic fee, whether or not they participate in sports.
|University||Tuition and fees||Athletic fees||% of total|
|George Mason University||$8,584||$476||5%|
|Old Dominion University||$7,708||$1,133||15%|
|University of Virginia||$10,628||$657||6%|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||$8,817||$559||6%|
|College of William and Mary||$12,188||$1,422||12%|
|Christopher Newport University||$9,250||$1,147||12%|
|James Madison University||$7,860||$1,114||14%|
|University of Mary Washington||$7,862||$350||4%|
|Norfolk State University||$6,227||$1,441||23%|
|Virginia Military Institute||$12,328||$1,362||11%|
|Virginia State University||$6,570||$791||12%|
Virginia's two land grant universities Virginia Tech and Virginia State University receive federal funding to perform agricultural research and to conduct cooperative extension services.
Virginia opted to not participate in No Child Left Behind federal funding. Virginia filed an application for the first round of federal Race to the Top funding, but finished 31st out of 41 states in the first round, and did not receive funds. On May 26, 2010, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell withdrew the state from the second round of Race to the Top funding. McDonnell did not believe that Virginia should apply for the second round because he erroneously believed the competition required the use of common education performance standards instead of Virginia's current standards. In fact, the use of common performance standards is not required.Although McDonnell supported the Race to the Top program during McDonnell's campaign for governor, McDonnell later went on to claim on his June 1 appearance on MS-NBC that the Race to the Top rules precluded participating states from adopting more rigorous standards in addition to whatever multi-state standards they join. However, the "Race to the Top" regulations award the points even if states adopt standards more rigorous than the optional, common standards.
Education in the United States is provided in public, private, and home schools.
Education in England is overseen by the United Kingdom's Department for Education. Local government authorities are responsible for implementing policy for public education and state-funded schools at a local level.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was a U.S. Act of Congress that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; it included Title I provisions applying to disadvantaged students. It supported standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals could improve individual outcomes in education. The Act required states to develop assessments in basic skills. To receive federal school funding, states had to give these assessments to all students at select grade levels.
Dr. Eugene W. Hickok is an advocate for public education reform and an expert in constitutional law.
The Standards of Learning(SOL) is a public school standardized testing program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It sets forth learning and achievement expectations for core subjects for grades K-12 in Virginia's Public Schools. The standards represent what many teachers, school administrators, parents, and business and community leaders believe schools should teach and students should learn. The Virginia Department of Education, schools, and school systems routinely receive essential feedback on the effectiveness of implementation and address effective instructional strategies and best practices. The Standards of Learning is supportive of and direct response to No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. They address student achievement in [http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml four critical areas: (1) English, (2) mathematics, (3) science, and (4) history/social science. Students are assessed in English and mathematics in grades 3-8 and upon completion of certain high school level courses. Science and history SOL are administered in grades 3, 5, and 8 and at the end of completing high school courses in these respective subjects.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a measurement defined by the United States federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically according to results on standardized tests. As defined by National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), AYP is "the amount of annual achievement growth to be expected by students in a particular school, district, or state in the U.S. federal accountability system, No Child Left Behind (NCLB)." AYP has been identified as one of the sources of controversy surrounding George W. Bush administration's Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Private schools are not required to make AYP.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is the department of the New York state government responsible for the supervision for all public schools in New York and all standardized testing, as well as the production and administration of state tests and Regents Examinations. In addition, the State Education Department oversees higher education, cultural institutions such as museums and libraries, and the licensing of numerous professions. It is headed by the regents of the University of the State of New York (USNY) and administered by the Commissioner of Education.
Education reform in the United States since the 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should know and be able to do. These standards can then be used to guide all other system components. The SBE reform movement calls for clear, measurable standards for all school students. Rather than norm-referenced rankings, a standards-based system measures each student against the concrete standard. Curriculum, assessments, and professional development are aligned to the standards.
Solanco High School is a midsized, rural public secondary school located in southern Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, United States. It is a part of the Solanco School District. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,188 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 320 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 75 teachers, yielding a student teacher ratio of 15:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, two teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.
K12 Inc. is a for-profit education company that sells online schooling and curricula. K12 is an education management organization (EMO) that provides online education designed as an alternative to traditional "brick and mortar" education for public school students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Publicly traded K12 is the largest EMO in terms of enrollment.
Forest Hills High School, located in Sidman, Pennsylvania, is a small, rural, public high school. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 454 pupils in 10th through 12th grades, with 49% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 9% of pupils received special education services, while 2.8% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 33 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. It is the sole high school operated by the Forest Hills School District of Cambria County.
Dover Area High School is a midsized, suburban public high school located at 46 West Canal Street in Dover, Pennsylvania. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 1,009 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 30% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.4% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 68 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Ephrata High School is a sub-urban/urban, public secondary school in the Ephrata Area School District located in Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States.
The Washington School District is a small, urban, public school district in Washington County, Pennsylvania. It serves the city of Washington, Pennsylvania and the borough of East Washington, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 9 square miles. According to 2000 local census data, it serves a resident population of 15,268. In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $16,837, while the median family income was $37,613. According to Washington School District officials, in the school year 2005–06, the district provided basic educational services to 1,825 pupils. Washington School District employed 161 teachers, 80 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators.
Race to the Top, abbreviated R2T, RTTT or RTT, was a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education competitive grant created to spur and reward innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education. Funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, it was announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on July 24, 2009. States competing for the grants were awarded points for enacting certain educational policies, instituting performance-based evaluations for teachers and principals based on multiple measures of educator effectiveness, adopting common standards, adopting policies that did not prohibit the expansion of high-quality charter schools, turning around the lowest-performing schools, and building and using data systems.
Connellsville Area High School is a rural, public high school, located in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, United States of America. It is operated by the Connellsville Area School District. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 1,174 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 52.9% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 11.5% of pupils received special education services, while 3.9% of pupils were identified as gifted. Connellsville Area High School employed 90 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school is not a federally designated Title I school.
Susquehanna Township High School (STHS) is a mid-sized, public high school located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania serving students from Susquehanna Township. The school provides grades 9 through 12. In 2014, the school had 898 pupils, with 35.9% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 13% of pupils received special education services, while 6.9% of pupils were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind in 2014.
An elementary school is the main point of delivery of primary education in the United States, for children between the ages of 4–11 and coming between pre-kindergarten and secondary education.
Susquenita High School is a small, rural, public high school located in Duncannon, Perry County, Pennsylvania. It is the sole high school operated by the Susquenita School District. Susquenita High School serves the boroughs of Marysville, New Buffalo, and Duncannon. It also serves: Watts Township, Wheatfield Township, Penn Township, and Rye Township, as well as Reed Township in Dauphin County. In 2016, enrollment declined further to 528 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 28% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 16.6% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed teachers. Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Riverside Junior Senior High School is small public school located at: 310 Davis Street, Taylor, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. It is the sole high school and junior high school operated by the Riverside School District. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 697 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 41,6% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 19.9% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 58 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers, at Riverside Junior Senior High School, were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Riverside Junior Senior High School has a mandatory uniform policy.
Race to the Top does not endorse any particular consortium or set of standards. Criterion (B)(1) specifies characteristics of consortia and standards that earn States points under this criterion.
A State may supplement the common standards with additional standards, provided that the additional standards do not exceed 15 percent of the State's total standards for that content area.
Buck, J.L. "The Development of Public Schools in Virginia." 1952. p. 17.
Heatwole, Cornelius. "A History of Education in Virginia". The Macmillan Company. 1916. p. 43
Kincheloe, Joe, and Weil, Danny. "Standards and Schooling in The United States." ABC Clio Publishing. 2001. p. 713-714.
Unger, Harlow. "Encyclopedia of American Education." Facts on File Publishing. 2007. p. 1185.
Virginia Department of Education. "Standards of Learning Objectives For Virginia Public Schools." 1984. p. iii.
Wiley, Sandra, and Marshall, Paxton. "The Virginia Assembly on Policy for Elementary and Secondary Education in Virginia: Issues For the Commonwealth. 1984.