By Samantha Morgan, Capital News Service
Gov. Bob McDonnell praised the Virginia House of Delegates after legislators bassed a bill Monday he said would provide a simpler way to understand a school’s performance and the state’s accreditation system.
Delegates voted 54-40 to approve House Bill 1999, which would require the Virginia Board of Education to grade each school on an A-F scale. Delegates Jim LeMunyon (R-67th) and Tom Rust (R-86th), who represent Chantilly, voted for the measure.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Thomas “Tag” Greason (R-Landsdowne), is part of McDonnell’s K-12 legislative agenda.
Under the bill, the board would develop a grading system for all schools by Aug. 1. The letter grade would be given in addition to the state’s more detailed standards of accreditation for individual school performance.
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“I was pleased by the bipartisan support in the House of Delegates for our common-sense plan to bring more transparency and accountability to Virginia’s public schools. I encourage my friends in the Senate to support this legislation that will provide a simpler way to understand a school’s performance on the state’s accreditation system,” McDonnell said.
During a conference call with reporters Friday, McDonnell called upon Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, in an effort to rally support for the letter-grade plan. During Bush’s first term in office, the A-F grading system was implemented in all Florida public schools
McDonnell said the grading scale was a tool parents and families can use to "advocate for and achieve better schools for their communities."
"If we aren’t giving students in every ZIP code the opportunity for a world-class education, we have failed them," he said.
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Patch Editor Erica R. Hendry reported for this story.