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Virginia Senate Moves To Delay McDonnell-Era School Reforms

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The Virginia Senate has passed several measures with bipartisan support that effectively suspend key planks of former Gov. Bob McDonnell's education reforms.

Among them is a measure that delays by three years the implementation of the A-F grading system to rate schools. Sen. John Miller said the school grades promoted by McDonnell measure poverty more than academic achievement. His bill would delay implementing the new system and fold new criteria that go beyond assessments into the grade averages.

Another measure would delay by one year the transfer of chronically underperforming schools to the Opportunity Educational Institute, the state entity that was to begin supervising them after this year. And Sen. Emmet Hanger's bill directs the state education board to develop a plan to reduce the number of standardized tests by 25 percent.

"High-stakes testing, accountability testing is a good thing. But we've come to the point that we're spending too much of our time and resource on testing and not enough on learning," he says.

The bills now head to the House of Delegates.

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