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Virginia House Passes Bill to Grade Schools From A to F

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A plan to make Virginia schools more accountable for student performance is moving through the Virginia General Assembly. It involves giving schools a letter grade. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey explains why some parents are against the plan. (Published Monday, Feb 4, 2013)

    The House of Delegates passed legislation that would assign letter grades to public schools in Virginia just as teachers grade students from A to F.

    The bill, a conspicuous piece of Gov. Bob McDonnell's education reforms, won final House passage Monday on a bipartisan 54-40 vote with six delegates not voting.

    A similar bill easily won Senate committee backing last week and is due for a final floor vote Tuesday.

    Supporters, including Republican House Majority Leader Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights, said the grading system is the only way to hold underperforming schools to account and that it would stimulate parental involvement in failing schools.

    Opponents, including lobbying groups for teachers and school boards, say the grades unfairly depict a struggling school and would further harm at-risk students.