COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: 2011-2016
Purpose of the Comprehensive Plan
The Board of Education’s Comprehensive Plan: 2011-2016 updates the goals set forth in the Board’s previous plan, which covered the years 2007-2012. Building upon the previous plan, the two-year update reflected in this document provides the framework for resources and policy development to continue Virginia’s forward momentum in student achievement.
Board of Education’s Mission: Ensuring Rigorous and High-Quality Learning Standards
Virginia’s young people are the hope of a bright future not only for themselves and their families, but for the state, the nation, and the rapidly expanding global economy. Current economic conditions remind us more than ever that the key to economic recovery is education. Within that context, the Board of Education’s mission is to set education policies that support the life-long academic and career achievement of all students by establishing high standards and expectations for learning, utilizing evidence and research, measuring and effectively analyzing systemwide performance, as well as ensuring transparency and accountability to parents and the public.
The Board of Education’s vision and mission statements and goals for public education provide the framework for a world-class statewide system of public schools. The statements are forward looking and acknowledge the programs and services provided by Virginia’s public schools to meet the increasingly diverse needs of students who will live, compete, and work in an expanding and complex global, high- tech economy.
The goals, strategies and performance measures within this document describe how the Board of Education intends to accomplish its mission.
Gauging Student Achievement
The standards and the accountability set by the Board of Education provide benchmarks to gauge the academic achievement of Virginia’s students compared to their peers across the state, the nation, and internationally.
Goals for Public Education: 2011-2016
Goal 1: Expanded Opportunities to Learn: The Board of Education will continue to improve the standards for public schools in Virginia in order to expand learning opportunities needed for Virginia’s public schools. Our schools will lead the nation in rigor and quality and our students will compete and excel in postsecondary education and/or in the global workplace.
Goal 2: Accountability for Student Learning: The Board of Education will support accountability for all public schools by providing leadership and by establishing policies that help schools and school divisions increase the academic success of all students, especially those who are at-risk or in underperforming school systems. Using improved longitudinal data systems, the Board will monitor schools’ progress in closing achievement gaps among groups of students.
Goal 3: Nurturing Young Learners: The Board of Education will work cooperatively with partners and will promote new and innovative partnerships to help ensure that all young children are ready to enter kindergarten with the skills they need for success.
Goal 4: Strong Literacy and Mathematics Skills: The Board of Education will establish policies that support the attainment of literacy and mathematics skills for all students, pre-K through grade 12.
Goal 5: Highly Qualified and Effective Teachers and Administrators: The Board of Education will establish policies and standards that improve the preparation, recruitment, and retention of Virginia’s educational personnel, including their meaningful and ongoing professional development, especially in teacher shortage areas and in hard-to-staff schools.
Goal 6: Sound Policies for Student Success: The Board of Education will provide leadership to develop and implement the provisions of state and federal laws and regulations in ways that improve and expand opportunities for all of Virginia’s schoolchildren to excel academically.
Goal 7: Safe and Secure Schools: The Board of Education will provide leadership to create safe and secure school environments.
Opportunities for All Students to Learn and Excel
The Board of Education is adamant that all of Virginia’s children—regardless of their personal circumstances—must have the school environment, the resources, and the teachers to help them be successful at school. However, there remain persistent differences in the achievement level of students. Some students continue to struggle academically and need costly, intensive instructional support to succeed in school.
Record Enrollment Will Continue
Record enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools will continue over the next five years, according to research conducted by The University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service (2010). Total enrollment will increase from the current 1.21 million to 1.27 million students in the 2014-15 school year. Enrollment growth is centered in certain geographic regions of the state, while other areas are expected to shrink in enrollment. The variance in enrollment growth will have significant impact—a rippling effect on funding, school construction, school closings, consolidation of programs, the teaching work force, and economic viability of localities.