VASCD actively promotes public policy that reflects best educational practice and addresses the needs of modern learners.
If you would like to be a member of our Policy Team, there are opportunities for you! Contact Chris Jones at email@example.com
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VASCD promotes decisions and policies that reflect “autonomy with integrity”, our belief in the abilities of educators to make sound decisions regarding teaching and learning. Read about autonomy with integrity- what it is and why it matters- here.
VASCD’s Policy Priorities guide our advocacy work with policymakers at the Virginia Board of Education and in the General Assembly. We also work to ensure these priorities are reflected in our work with educators and our partnerships with other organizations.
For 2021- 22 our priorities are:
Outstanding Teachers for Virginia’s Students
Recruiting and retaining the very best teachers requires coordinated efforts among policy makers and the education community. While we appreciate the recent attention to Virginia’s teacher shortage, we urge decision makers to align their actions with evidence regarding the factors that actually influence teachers’ decisions to accept and stay in their positions.
● Teachers deserve compensation that allows them to support themselves and their families while living in the communities in which they work. Changes in VRS benefits have removed a significant incentive to accept the low salary that teaching offers in Virginia.
● An environment in which teachers are free to teach the Standards in innovative and creative ways is a factor in teacher recruitment retention.
● Student needs vary widely and change constantly. Educators need greater flexibility to make decisions in the interests of students while aligning their teaching with the Standards of Learning.
Modernizing Virginia’s Assessment System
Virginia’s Profile of a Graduate raises expectations for student learning by requiring demonstration of both academic knowledge and a broader range of skills necessary for success in the workplace and community. In order to measure these objectives, multiple types of assessments are essential. The overall “assessment load” should be constrained so that it complements rather than interferes with teaching and learning.
● Virginia’s assessment system should be revised to include a balance of achievement, performance, and growth measures over the course of students’ K-12 experience, reflecting an emphasis on future-ready skills.
● The statewide assessment system should yield adequate data for accountability purposes without supplanting excessive instructional time.
● While maintaining validity and reliability, the system should be modernized to incorporate methodologies such as on-demand testing and interdisciplinary assessments.
Personalizing Professional Learning Opportunities for Educators
High school redesign efforts are placing increased emphasis on students’ actual demonstration of learning in real-world contexts. In the same way, teachers should be able to learn in ways that are immediately relevant to their jobs and able to be demonstrated in the ways they plan, deliver and assess learning for their students.
● Competency-based models such as micro-credentialing should be valued as pathways to recertification.
● Educators’ professional learning plans should address school-wide priorities while accommodating educators’ individual needs and choices.