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Resolution Passed in Response to McDonnell's Education Bills - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Resolution Passed in Response to McDonnell's Education Bills

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Three school boards in central Virginia are sending the governor and state lawmakers resolutions condemning a pair of education bills passed by the General Assembly this session.

Culpeper, Madison and Orange county school boards all passed the resolution in separate meetings Monday night. It expresses "profound disappointment" in the governor and lawmakers for signing off on a pair of education reform bills.

The Orange County School Board - along with Madison's and Culpeper's - is sending a joint resolution to Governor Bob McDonnell and lawmakers who supported a pair of education reform bills.

"We are very, very limited on our funds - some of that's their fault. But yet, you're sending us more and more restrictions to have to deal with," said Carter.

The individual school performance bill will give schools A-to-F grades. Orange County Superintendent Robert Grimesey says it's based on criteria that's too complicated to figure out.

A second bill will allow the state to take over chronically failing schools.

"We just think these pieces of legislation take us in the wrong direction. It's just more government intrusion at the local level right into the classroom," Grimesey said.

McDonnell's office has responded to the resolution in a statement to NBC29 (read the full statement below).   

It reads, in part, "The governor will never tolerate failing schools.  He believes strongly that every child in every community deserves the opportunity to go to a great school.  And he will always support innovative policy proposals to make that possible."

The schools call it political posturing.  Fellow Republican governors have praised McDonnell's education reforms.

"Politicians want to come up with some way of making sure our success can be counted towards their future political success," said Grimesey.

"You can go visit Louisiana. You can talk to the governor of Florida, but have you been to our school? And the answer is no, you have not been to our school," said Carter.

Carter argues a school's success or failure could hurt an entire community.

"Accountability should be fair," said Carter.

The school systems say they just want to be on the record that they don't believe these reforms will have a positive impact on students and teachers.


Statement from the office of Governor Bob McDonnell to NBC29:

Governor McDonnell has advocated strongly for education reforms as part of his ALL STUDENTS campaign to ensure that every child, regardless of socioeconomic status or zip code receives a world-class education. To achieve this goal, parents must be able to discern the performance of their school in clear, easily understandable terms so they can better engage with teachers and administrators to improve their schools. This is why he has strongly supported revisions to the school rating program to develop A-F grading scales that will allow parents to easily discern the challenges facing their schools so they can better engage. We should never hide school challenges and performance issues under bureaucratic ratings systems that cannot be understood by parents and students.

Similarly, schools that have failed to achieve accreditation for lengthy periods of time are failing to provide a good educational experience to the students enrolled there. While local turnaround efforts are applauded, if those efforts fail and schools continue to under perform, then we are failing our students. The Opportunity Educational Institution legislation will ensure failing schools no longer fail our students. The statewide turnaround district, modeled after successful programs in other states, will ensure that students in these failing schools are not abandoned or forgotten. They will get the excellent educations they need and deserve.

The governor will never tolerate failing schools. He believes strongly that every child in every community deserves the opportunity to go to a great school. And he will always support innovative policy proposals to make that possible.

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