Published Online: January 3, 2006

Virginia's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,856
Public school teachers 90,573
Pre-K-12 students 1,192,092
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $9.2 billion
Minority students 38.1%
Children in poverty 13%
Students with disabilities 14.5%
English-language learners 5.1%

Summary of Grades

Virginia scores above average in two of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state receives an above-average grade on standards and accountability, with a strong showing on its academic standards, nearly all of which have been rated clear, specific, and grounded in content by the American Federation of Teachers. But there is room for improvement on measures of accountability and assessment. While the state has assessments aligned to standards in the core subjects, its tests rely heavily on multiple-choice items.

Virginia ranks near the top of the nation in teacher quality. One of only 15 states to require and finance mentoring for new teachers, it receives full credit for professional support and training. But it loses points on teacher assessments by not requiring veteran teachers to undergo performance assessments to earn advanced certification.

The state posts a below-average score in school climate. Despite high marks on school safety, the state does poorly on measures of school choice and autonomy. It lacks a public school open-enrollment program and receives a low rating for its charter school law from the Center for Education Reform.

The state’s low resource-equity grade stems from having one of the nation’s worst wealth-neutrality scores, indicating that the state’s wealthier districts receive considerably more per-pupil funding than its poorer districts do.

State Policy Report Card
Virginia Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality B+ C+
School climate C C+
Resource equity D+ C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 37.92 40
Assessment 23.18 30
School accountability 24 30
85 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 31.06 35
Teacher assessment 24 30
Professional support and training 19.55 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
88 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 10.33 15
School safety 18.75 20
Parent involvement 10.95 15
Choice and autonomy 11.5 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 5.5 10
School facilities 7.5 10
73 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 16.67 33.3
McLoone Index 25 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
67 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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