Virginia Board of Education - Changes to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia • Update as of July 2010
Status of Regulatory Action: • On July 31, 2009, revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools (SOA) became final. • The regulatory changes included the following: • prescribing the requirements of the Standard Technical Diploma and the Advanced Technical Diploma; • increasing the number of standard units of credit for the Advanced Studies diploma; • requiring a course in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement; • requiring all students, beginning in middle school, to have an Academic and Career Plan; • incorporating graduation rates into Virginia’s accountability system; and • incorporating other technical changes.
2010 General Assembly Actions: • The majority of the revisions to the SOA were to be implemented beginning with the 2010-2011 school year. Because of legislation passed by the 2010 General Assembly (HB111, HB196, and SB352), the implementation of most of the revisions has been delayed until the 2011-2012 school year. • Please note that the incorporation of graduation rates into Virginia’s accountability system (the Graduation and Completion Index) does not have a delayed implementation date, and will be used in the calculation of ratings for the 2011-2012 school year based on data from the 2010-2011 school year.
Technical Diploma Changes: • The academic requirements for the two technical diplomas meet or exceed the requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas. • The technical diplomas require one standard credit in economics and personal finance. (This change also applies to the Standard and Advanced Studies diplomas.) • For the Standard Technical Diploma, a student must earn four standard credits in career and technical education in a career concentration approved by the Virginia Board of Education. If the career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the Virginia Board of Education and the student is eligible to take this assessment, the student must take this assessment to earn this diploma. • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.
Technical Diploma Changes (cont’d): • For the Advanced Technical Diploma, a student must earn three standard credits in career and technical education in a career concentration approved by the Virginia Board of Education. For this diploma, students also have the option to either: • take one additional credit in career and technical education or • take one credit in fine arts. • If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the Virginia Board of Education and the student is eligible to take this assessment, the student must take this assessment to earn the Advanced Technical diploma. • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.
Standard Units of Credit: • Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2011-2012, to meet the requirements for either an Advanced Studies and Advanced Technical diploma, a student must have 26 standard units of credit. • The number of verified credits remain at 9 while the number of electives for an Advanced Studies diploma increase from 2 to 3. • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.
The Academic and Career Plan: • All schools must begin development of a personal Academic and Career Plan for each seventh grade student, for completion by the fall of the eighth grade. • The plan shall include the student’s program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary pathway based on a student’s academic and career interests. • This change becomes effective in the 2011-2012 school year.
The Academic and Career Plan (cont’d): • The plan shall be reviewed and updated if necessary before the student enters the ninth and eleventh grades. • Any personal Academic and Career plans prescribed by local school boards that are in effect as of June 30, 2009, are approved to continue without further action of the Board. • This change becomes effective in the 2011-2012 school year.
Graduation and Completion Index: • Schools with a graduating class will be required to meet this index, in addition to meeting the required Standards of Learning pass rates, in order to be fully accredited. • The inclusion of the index in the accreditation ratings will begin with tests administered in academic year 2010-2011, for accreditation ratings awarded for school year 2011-2012. • There is a five-year phase-in period, where schools can be rated Provisionally Accredited. This rating is awarded if the school achieves the minimum thresholds for Standards of Learning tests scores but does not meet a minimum threshold for the graduation rate but meets prescribed benchmarks outlined in the regulations.
Other Technical Changes: • Accreditation Ratings: For tests administered in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 that will be the basis for accreditation ratings in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, the benchmarks for full accreditation will be the same benchmarks that were used for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 ratings.
Other Technical Changes (cont’d): • The following technical changes became effective on July 31, 2009 and remain in effect: • Double Testing: Clarification that no student shall take more than one test in any content area in each year. • Student Records: The State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school must be retained by the receiving school. • Virtual Virginia: Credits earned through Virtual Virginia, the online program, would be accepted in Virginia public schools.
Appendix: Link to May 7 Superintendent’s Memorandum and SOA Web Site • http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2010/112-10.shtml • And • http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/index.shtml