New Reading & Math Objectives for VA are Appalling

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Angela A. Ciolfi, Legal Director of the JustChildren Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center, Charlottesville,  is concerned about the appalling new AMOs released last week by the Virginia Department of Education.   VDOE Announces New Annual Reading & Math Objectives

These objectives represent a full retreat from the concept of No Child Left Behind.

In fact, it doesn’t look like Virginia expects the proficiency gaps to shrink much at all in six years.

For example, the gap between “All students” and “economically disadvantaged” students doesn’t change at all.

(VA DOE does not provide a target for non-economically disadvantaged students, so it’s hard to figure out what group to compare them to.)

The gap between white and black students only decreases by 2 points.

It is disturbing to see that, six years from now, we expect only 49% of students with disabilities and 59% of economically disadvantaged students to pass the math tests.

We can only imagine the impact of these new objectives on vulnerable students.

Angela shares the link to a good summary by Candace Cortiella of the Advocacy Institute. Candace posted on her blog about the new methodology Virginia cooked up for calculating annual measurable objectives (AMOs).

…the new AMOs for math (below) paint a dismal picture for Virginia’s underachieving students – now given the pejorative moniker of “Gap Groups.” 

Yes, Virginia, You are a Swing State.

Today, August 6, in the Roanoke Times – Setting New Academic Expectations

Christina Nuckols says she feels better when talking to local school leaders, despite the gloomy goals at the state level.

“Roanoke Superintendent Rita Bishop is fully aware of the dangers ahead as the nation reconsiders its educational future.

I always feared if we dumped No Child Left Behind that we would lose sight of subgroups, she said. It scared me.

Eliminating that gap may get tougher with more rigorous math and reading tests being introduced in the state, but Bishop isn’t going to backpedal on academic achievement.

If you set low expectations for a kid or a school, you’ll get even lower results, she said.”

More Resources

Virginia Special Education and VA Sped News

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