By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Ninety-six percent of Virginia schools are fully accredited by the state Department of Education for 2011-2012 — down 2 percentage points from last year — and the state superintendent is warning of further declines in coming years as Virginia implements more stringent standards for English and math testing.
Just 38 percent of Virginia's 1,839 schools made annual benchmarks last year in English and math under provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, according to detailed figures released Thursday by the Virginia department of Education.
"Virginia schools and school divisions can now focus their energy and resources on implementing the state Board of Education's rigorous new content standards and assessments without contending with outdated and often counterproductive federal requirements and rules," said Virginia's Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. "The commonwealth will continue to hold schools accountable for closing achievement gaps but schools won't be subject to a system of increasingly unrealistic annual objectives."
"Whenever standards are raised, there are schools that require time to meet the new expectations," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in a statement. "The fact that 86 percent of high schools already meet or exceed the standard for graduation and completion speaks to the efforts of educators and administrators to raise graduation rates."