SHOCKER: The Virginia Pilot Doesn’t Like The SOLs

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Yet I haven’t quite discovered how the algorithm “Common Core Good : Standards of Learning Bad” really works:

Virginia is different from those other states, as is its curriculum in civics, something that befits a state where the first Europeans arrived in 1607. A state home to the New World’s oldest legislative body (hint: That’s the General Assembly). The birthplace of presidents, including four of the first five.

Despite a mark of 86 percent on the current SOL civics exam, legislators would have the state’s teachers stop what they’re doing – stop helping Virginia’s kids actually understand citizenship – to help them memorize answers to a federal test.

Normally I’d fob this off with a “read it all” or something to that effect, but those two paragraphs right there are the thrust of the argument.  The rest?  Well… lots of fury but hardly sound.

One problem?  The Virginia Pilot waxes furiously on how such standards are rather unnecessary, as 86% of Virginia students already pass the civics portion of the SOLs, and even cites the Virginia Education Association’s (VEA) opposition as reason enough to oppose HB 1306.

Yet with five seconds of careful pruning, the Daily Progress discovers this little gem:

“We’ll come out in opposition to that one,” she said. “We’re not in favor of increasing any standardized testing hoop.”

So which is it — is this unnecessary, as the VA Pilot suggests?  Or is it increasing the standard, as the VEA suggests (and uses as the basis of it’s opposition)?

Again… color me confused.  But it sounds as if Delegate Dickie Bell might be on to something if even the opponents of the bill don’t clearly understand why they are opposed… other than they simply are opposed to the SOL’s in principle and would much rather have a more federalized approach towards measuring the education level of Virginia students.

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