A national report says Virginia is failing in climate change education. State officials dispute that.
A report by two major educational nonprofits released last week on how states’ science standards for public schools handle climate change gave Virginia a failing grade, citing “abysmal scores across the board.” “Humanity’s impact is downplayed in the standards and is obfuscated by saying ‘natural’ causes of climate change and ‘chemicals’ being released into the […]
Years of understaffing have taken a toll on how Virginia oversees struggling local school divisions
Staffing at the Virginia Department of Education is significantly lower than surrounding states in several key offices — and it’s taking a toll on the agency’s ability to help local school districts, including making sure that struggling systems meet state standards. It’s an issue that hasn’t gotten much traction since a watchdog agency, the Joint […]
Animal rights activists question Virginia Tech’s dog purchases
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on Virginia Tech to stop purchasing beagles from Envigo, a controversial dog breeding facility in Cumberland that’s been the subject of recent legislative debate. It’s the second time PETA has gone after Tech and other state universities in recent weeks. In mid-September, the animal rights organization […]
Virginia colleges and universities see drop in enrollment, but far less than initially anticipated
Early head counts from Virginia’s colleges and universities show an overall 1.3 percent decline in student enrollment this fall — a total of 6,658 students, according to a new report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Spokeswoman Laura Osberger said it was the first time that SCHEV publicly announced the preliminary estimates, […]
Virginia public schools are seeing an early drop in enrollment. It could put millions in state funding at risk.
Since the start of the school year in August, Radford City Schools have lost around 75 students compared to enrollment counts last May, according to district Superintendent Robert Graham. Across the state in Middlesex County, public schools are down roughly 47 students, said Superintendent Pete Gretz. Attendance at King William County Public Schools has dropped […]
As schools weigh a return to in-person learning, health officials won’t release details on COVID-19 outbreaks
The majority of Virginia’s local school districts started the year remotely. But as divisions across the state weigh a return to in-person learning over the next few weeks, the Virginia Department of Health is still providing limited information on COVID-19 cases linked to K-12 schools. At a news conference Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver […]
Efforts falter to require schools to provide in-person options
By Sam Fowler/ Capital News Service An effort to require Virginia school districts provide in-person classes to students with poor internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic is most likely dead. House Bill 5009, introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would require public schools to offer in-person classes to elementary, middle and high school students who have […]
As virus cases mount, who’s overseeing Virginia universities?
As colleges and universities across Virginia reopen their campuses to students — leading, in some cases, to surging cases of COVID-19 — many have done so with plans that weren’t vetted by the Virginia Department of Health or even, in some cases, their local health departments. Dr. Laurie Forlano, VDH’s deputy commissioner for population health, […]
State commission recommends changes to how African American history is taught in Virginia schools
A final report, nearly a year in the making, recommends changes to teacher training, graduation requirements and curriculum to reform how African-American history is taught in Virginia schools. The report was published Monday by the Virginia Commission on African-American History Education, which was established by Gov. Ralph Northam by executive order last August, on the […]
More Virginia college students head into quarantine as COVID-19 cases rise
By Noah Fleischman/ Capital News Service As more universities open, they’re collecting and releasing COVID-19 data and grappling with contingency plans for those who contract the disease. The University of Virginia in Charlottesville released its first set of COVID-19 testing data on Wednesday. There have been 58 total positive cases at the university since Aug. 17, including 31 […]
Don’t rush school reopenings
By James J. Fedderman, Ph.D There’s a clear-cut path in public education: Certain standards must be met, and certain knowledge gained, before students can move on to the next level of their schooling. You can’t build a promising future without a sound foundation. We’ve approached the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown […]
Faculty question student coronavirus testing at three Virginia public universities
Faculty members are raising concerns about the reliability of the tests being used to screen students at three prominent Virginia universities for COVID-19 before they return to campus. George Mason, William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University all contracted with Kallaco, a newly-formed corporation, to provide at-home testing kits and health tracking software for the […]