Va. Lawmakers Advance Education Reform

Full House to consider several elements of Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan

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    TK

    Public schools in Virginia would get the same kind of report cards that their students get under a measure that moved forward in the state House Wednesday/

    The House Education Committee voted 14-6 to develop a system that grades public schools on an A to F scale. That bill now goes to the House floor for a vote.

    The grades are a major part of Governor Bob McDonnell's reform plan.

    The committee also endorsed a bill to create an Opportunity Educational Institution to take over failing schools. An 11-member board would oversee efforts to restore the schools to full accreditation, then return them to control of the local school division.

    Delegate Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, opposed both bills. McClellan said she didn't think it was appropriate to judge historically high-achieving schools against those in poorer areas that struggle.

    McClellan called the Opportunity Institution a "rush to judgment" that penalizes schools that would benefit from a more holistic reform effort.

    Also today, the committee sent to the House floor a bill requiring teachers to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    And a bill allowing schools to open before Labor Day without state approval also advanced to the House floor.