Vision: The Salem City School Division envisions an exciting future for Salem’s children. Achieving this vision will require purposeful elimination of some traditional barriers prescribed by outdated laws and regulations that have failed to keep pace with the rate of progress in Salem City Schools. The purpose of this document is to advocate for necessary legislative and regulatory changes to provide those who serve children the opportunity to innovate on their behalf.
Current Reality: Few fully understand or appreciate that teaching and learning are extremely complex processes. While public education is a national priority and a state responsibility, it is ultimately a local function. The Salem City School Board urges state and federal government leaders to create the conditions that facilitate innovation while avoiding the temptation to micromanage a local function.
Legislative Priorities: The 2013 session of the General Assembly will consider numerous issues of profound importance to the Commonwealth’s public school students and to the school employees who deliver the promise of a high quality public education. Positions adopted by the Board will be communicated to Salem’s legislators before the Assembly convenes. The Board also urges officials to contact the Board or the Superintendent regarding legislation with implications for Salem’s children.
2013 State Legislative Priorities
Statewide in FY 2011, the average local support in excess of the minimum local requirement was 80.8%. Clearly the Commonwealth is not funding its share of K-12 expenses. The Salem City School Board urges the General Assembly to increase K-12 education funding proportional y from both the state budget surplus (a surplus that localities helped the Commonwealth to accumulate) and the projected increase in state revenues. The trend of reducing the percentage of the state budget allocated to K-12 education must be reversed.
The Salem City School Board urges the General Assembly to require the Virginia Board of Education to commence a redesign of the Assessment and Accountability System to provide a more balanced assessment and accountability system for Virginia’s students. Specifically, we advocate for an assessment system that provides a more complete picture of student learning by providing both measures of achievement, such as the Standards of Learning, and measures of student growth, such as the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The Commonwealth’s current practice of administering as many as four achievement (SOL) tests each year in grades 3-8 is decidedly unbalanced. By reducing the number and frequency of achievement measures in selected grades and subject areas, time and resources could be allocated for assessments that measure student growth.
see the full document below
2013 Adopted Legislative Priorities and Positions of the Salem City School Board (1).pdf ViewDownload