Virginia Legislature

Staples

The Virginia Department of Education is asking for the public’s input as it works to implement new federal accountability standards.

To get feedback, the department has posted a four-question survey on its website. The answers “will help inform the development of the commonwealth’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.”

The survey, which is anonymous, gauges the academic measures important to respondents and what other factors should be considered when creating a new accountability system.

“We are asking parents and other members of the public to tell us what they think is important when evaluating how well a school is serving students,” Steven R. Staples, superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement Friday.

“We’re asking them to think about achievement on state tests, graduation and dropout rates, absenteeism, parent satisfaction and other indicators of school quality and then tell us which of these they think are extremely important, moderately important and so forth.”

Every Student Succeeds Act, an overhaul of No Child Left Behind, was approved with bipartisan support and signed by the president in December.

ESSA, as the legislation is known, helps bring to an end a period when schools were graded and deemed to be successes or failures based on their students’ standardized test scores. The law gives states flexibility to consider additional measures, such as graduation rates.

The state Board of Education aims to have a plan in place in time to submit it to the U.S. Department of Education by March.

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