Posts Tagged Education

Richmond Passes Teacher Free Speech Resolution


Credit: Alamosbasement / Flickr

As more teachers in Virginia organize and advocate for more money in public schools, some worry that advocacy isn’t welcome. Now Richmond is seeking to reassure teachers they have the right to speak up. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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New Law Sets Cap on Suspensions


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In Virginia, some students are suspended for months, or even an entire school year. A new law that takes effect July 1st, seeks to change that. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Chesterfield Superintendent to Take on Statewide Role


James Layne and his family pose with Governor Ralph Northam. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Virginia has a new superintendent of public instruction, current Chesterfield County superintendent James Layne. Governor Ralph Northam made the announcement in Richmond Thursday. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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At CodeRVA, High School Mimics the Workplace


Most of the school is a big open air office space, located in an industrial part of Richmond. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

There’s a push to get students excited about computer science and tech. A new public high school in Richmond is tapping into that trend. But the school, called CodeRVA, isn’t just relying on innovative curriculum. It’s also an entirely different model of teaching, where school is a workplace. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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The On-Going Debate Over Standardized Testing in Virginia

College Test Prep

Credit: AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File

As lawmakers return to Richmond this year, many of them will be focused on reforming Virginia’s system of standardized testing. Michael Pope has the story.

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Northam Taps Northern Virginia Middle School Teacher for Education Secretary


Governor-elect Ralph Northam names Beville Middle School teacher Atif Qarni as the next secretary of education. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Governor-elect Ralph Northam is filling out key Cabinet posts in the run-up to his inauguration next month, and this week he’s outlining his new education team. Michael Pope has the story.

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With Election Day Looming, Education Policies Move to Forefront of Gubernatorial Race

Ralph Northam, Ed Gillespie

Republican Ed Gillespie (right) gestures towards Democrat Ralph Northam during the last gubernatorial debate of the campaign earlier this month. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

During the election season, Virginia’s two major-party candidates for governor have clashed on everything from environmental issues to health care. This week a new division is emerging on education policy. Michael Pope has details.

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Study: Post-High School Education Lags In Some Parts Of Virginia

graduationVirginia is one of the most highly educated states in the country.  A new report, however, shows an uneven nature to that education, with some communities left behind. Michael Pope reports.

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School Discipline Reform Will Be On General Assembly Docket


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When students misbehave, how much discipline is too much? Lawmakers will be tackling that issue when they convene in Richmond for this year’s session. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Report: Virginia’s Schools More Segregated Than a Decade Ago

Credit: Karen Apricot / Flickr

A recent report found that Virginia’s public schools are more segregated today than ten years ago. According to the report, students who are poor, black, and Latino in Virginia are increasingly isolated — attending schools with other students like themselves. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.


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Teacher Residency Model Gains National Attention


Teacher Dana Lockhart is still in training and is a member of VCU’s teacher residency program. Here she teaches while VCU President Michael Rao looks on. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / WVTF / RADIO IQ)

If you want to be a teacher, you can go to school and pay for your master’s in education. Or, you can make a 4-year commitment to teaching in Richmond Public Schools in exchange for a master’s degree through Virginia Commonwealth University, a practically-guaranteed job, and learning through doing. It’s a unique approach — there are only about 20 programs like it in the country. Now, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the federal government is taking notice.

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Department of Education to Change Policies Over Principals and School Nurses


Credit: Virginia Department of Education

Strapped for cash, some public schools in Virginia are operating without a principal or a nurse, but the state’s board of education met today to discuss requiring those jobs be filled. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Roanoke Preschool to Receive State Funding


Governor Terry McAuliffe during a visit to Greenvale in Roanoke Thursday. Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / WVTF

Governor Terry McAuliffe was in Roanoke today to visit a preschool. The school is receiving money through a new grant program that’s part of a state-wide focus on early childhood education. Nick Gilmore reports.

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Students File Discrimination Complaint Against Richmond Public Schools


Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / WVTF

Students and advocacy groups in Richmond are accusing school administrators of unfairly disciplining black students, and students with disabilities. Two students and a local chapter of the NAACP filed a federal discrimination complaint against Richmond Public Schools Wednesday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.


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‘It Really Hurts When You Know How Hard You’re Working’: Veteran Teacher Reflects on Career

Meg Gruber

Credit David Sachs / SEIU

More than 8,000 teachers and administrators are currently gathered in the country’s capital for the National Education Association‘s annual conference. Among them is Meg Gruber, president of Virginia’s Education Association.

Gruber is the outgoing president of the VEA, and a veteran teacher of more than 30 years. Before she headed up to D.C., Gruber sat down with reporter Mallory Noe-Payne to talk about how education, at its heart, is  a local issue not a national one.

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Gloucester County School Board Asks Supreme Court to Appeal Transgender Bathroom Ruling


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, illustration by ParaDox

Did the Obama administration go too far when it directed the nation’s schools to let transgender students use bathrooms of their choice? The Gloucester County School board is asking the United States Supreme Court to consider their appeal of a fourth circuit ruling allowing a transgender student to use the boys bathroom. Michael Pope has the story.


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Teacher Evaluations

pencils_main_0Legislation to change the process for evaluating public school teachers has cleared the Virginia Senate and is now on its way to the Governor.

The bill is a compromise negotiated among major stakeholders, including the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, and the McDonnell administration.  But as that didn’t stop a senator from unsuccessfully proposing a few last-minute amendments.

The bill allows schools to extend the probation period for new teachers from three to five years and requires teacher and administrator performance evaluations to include student academic progress.  It also permits dismissal of a teacher with at least one unsatisfactory evaluation.  Senator Ralph Northam proposed making that two or more.

“It gives the teacher just a little bit more opportunity, a little bit more fairness, in the overall picture and allows an extra year to be able to follow to see if they have improvements.”

But Senator Dick Black said teachers told him that every school has an under-performing teacher.

“And they were encouraging us to move forward and to make it easier to transition those teachers who are not performing into a more suitable field of work.”

The Senate also sent to the governor bills to allow local school divisions more flexibility in assigning support staff AND to add requirements for early reading intervention in kindergarten through second grade.

-by Anne Marie Morgan

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