How would proposed change to "No Child Left Behind" Law impact VA

By Nicole Bell - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Schools labeled as failing could get a passing grade under a new proposal.

President Obama is preparing to overhaul the education law known as "No Child Left Behind."

There are nearly 2,000 schools in the commonwealth.

More than 500 currently have an "F" grade under the no child left behind accountability law.  Including schools in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield and Petersburg. This, despite some schools making big gains.

Under a new plan by president Obama those "F's" could turn into a passing grade in what some call a more fair characterization of a school's academic progress.

"It really changes the target for performance from student test scores to preparation for college or work. We're hoping the state will be permitted to give that definition to college preparation and work preparation," said NBC 12 education Specialist, Dr. Bill Bosher.

Schools would be judged differently, looking not just at a single year's test score,  but at how students and schools are progressing over time.

"Many of the schools that have been labeled as failing are likely to avoid that classification," said Bosher.

A 2014 deadline for performance would also be eliminated. Experts say the proposal wouldn't cheat students out of a good education. In fact, schools that do well would get incentives and rewards. Schools that do poorly would face intervention and other consequences.

"Virginia standards are very rigorous. We had schools that would fare well on state related tests but would then turn around and fail on the federal standards. So this would  potentially resolve that conflict," said Bosher.

Dr. Bosher says under the proposal curriculum will not be impacted.

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