VA Senate Dems Rip Youngkin Education Report as ‘Joke’, ‘Dog Whistle Talking Points’; “outright lie, backed up by hand-picked data and a distorted perspective”

0


See below for a statement from VA Senate Democrats on the bizarre news from the Youngkin administration. report (see statement below) on Virginia Public Schools. According to VA Senate Democrats:

  • “To accuse Virginia’s education system of failure is a outright lie, backed up by hand-picked data and a distorted perspective.”
  • “Youngkin is unwilling or unable to acknowledge that Democratic leaders have accomplished more for Virginia schools than Republican administrations.
  • “The report released today by Governor Youngkin is a joke designed to undermine and criticize the school board, public school administrators and teachers–ignoring the hard work they have done, even in the midst of a pandemic. These proposals – if you can call dog whistle talking points as such – prove the The Youngkin administration’s incompetence in crafting real-world politics. Its priority is supposed to be – but it obviously is not – education. Senate Democrats will not tolerate such antics, and are dedicated to real solutions and real impacts instead of platitudes and promises based on lies.
  • “We all know Governor Youngkin’s end goal – to erase black history and any mention of equity from Virginia’s programs. This misguided effort based on fake news and debunked theories is an outright attack from the far right, which annoys racist constituencies with lies and deceit. This report shows once again that Governor Youngkin wants to take us back to the days of Jim Crow– and I would know, having lived it. His backward thinking will reverse Virginia’s progress, harming the next generation and hampering the future of the Commonwealth.

In short, disgusting and dishonest as usual from the Youngkin administration, which continues to wage war on public education in Virginia.

Senate Democrats react to Governor Youngkin’s ‘excellence’ in education

RICHMOND, Va. : Today, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a report of its Department of Education outlining its plans for schools in Virginia.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said, “To accuse Virginia’s education system of failure is an outright lie, backed up by hand-picked data and a distorted perspective. Commonwealth schools were ranked fourth in the country by Forbes magazine– barely a liberal publication – and the best high school in the country according to US News and World Report is right here in Fairfax County. Governor Youngkin is unwilling or unable to acknowledge that Democratic leaders have accomplished more for Virginia schools than Republican administrations have, and Senate Democrats are pursuing that goal by offering more salaries to educators, dedicating funds to construction of schools and much more in the Senate budget proposal. ”

Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said, “The report released today by Governor Youngkin is a joke designed to undermine and criticize the school board, public school administrators and teachers, ignoring the hard work they have accomplished, even in the midst of a pandemic. These proposals — if you can call dog whistle talking points as such — prove the Youngkin administration’s incompetence at crafting real-world policy. Its priority is supposed to be – but it obviously is not – education. Senate Democrats will not tolerate such nonsense and are dedicated to real solutions and real impacts instead of platitudes and promises based on lies.

Education and Health Committee Chair Louise Lucas said, “We all know Governor Youngkin’s end goal — to erase black history and any mention of equity from Virginia’s programs. This misguided effort based on fake news and debunked theories is an outright attack from the far right, raging racist constituencies with lies and deception. This report shows once again that Governor Youngkin wants to take us back to the days of Jim Crow – and I would know that, having lived through it. His backward thinking will reverse Virginia’s progress, harming the next generation and hampering the future of the Commonwealth.

Governor Youngkin releases education report finding declining educational performance and lowered standards in Virginia

~Youngkin Administration to Raise Standards, Improve Transparency, and Hold Parents and Teachers Accountable~

Governor Glenn Youngkin delivers remarks following the Education Report findings in the Patrick Henry Building Thursday, May 19, 2022. Official photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

RICHMOND, VA — Today, Governor Glenn Youngkin received the Department of Education’s report, “Our Commitment to Virginians: High Expectations and Excellence for All Students.” The education report builds on Governor Youngkin’s direction in Executive Order Number One issued on his first day in office. The governor affirmed his guiding principles for addressing disturbing data trends and presented policy recommendations to restore excellence in education in Virginia.

“Virginia’s public schools have long enjoyed a reputation for academic excellence,” Governor Youngkin said. “But the data in this report demonstrates that the achievement gaps among Virginia students are worrisome and cannot be ignored. This report documents a clear and sobering lesson about the consequences for students when state leaders lower academic standards and dismantle accountability.

The Department of Education’s 33-page report details how the state’s policy choices and priorities over the past decade have resulted in lower student achievement in reading and math, wider achievement gaps, reduced transparency and an erosion of parental trust in Commonwealth public schools.

“Virginians deserve to know the truth about how our children are doing,” Education Secretary Aimee Guidera said. “Under Governor Youngkin’s leadership, we aim to be the most transparent and accountable state in the nation, while empowering parents and teachers with the knowledge and choices to do what’s best for each learner.

The main conclusions of the report are as follows:

  • Virginia now has the lowest reading and math proficiency standards in the nation, leading to wide “honesty gaps” between student performance on state learning standards tests and performance at National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
  • Despite statistically significant declines in Virginia students’ reading performance on the 2019 NAEP and state assessments, the Board of Education voted in 2020 to lower the proficiency standard on all elementary school SOL reading tests , intermediate and secondary.
  • Board of Education credentialing standards — once an accountability model for other states — now downplay grade-level skills in reading and math and hide wide achievement gaps.
  • Pre-pandemic results from college entrance exams taken by Virginia high school graduates in 2019 show wide disparities in college readiness, especially in math.
  • Last fall, 42% of Virginia sophomores scored below the benchmark on the Commonwealth Early Literacy Screening Assessment.
  • Homeschooling increased by 56% in 2020-21, with parents of 59,638 school-aged children choosing not to send their children to public schools. Despite returning to in-person instruction this year, parents of 55,769 students have chosen homeschooling over enrolling their children in public school. Additionally, 5,828 students have transferred from Virginia public schools to private schools in the state since the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

“I would like to emphasize that this report is not an indictment of our teachers, principals and other school leaders. They have worked tirelessly over the past few years under extraordinary conditions and circumstances,” said the Superintendent Jillian Balow “But local decision-making inevitably reflects priorities and policy choices determined at the state level. I am committed to working with Governor Youngkin, the state Board of Education, and the to reorganize Virginia’s K-12 priorities, raise expectations for all of our students, and create an accreditation system that is transparent, honest, and grades-first proficiency level.

The report also identifies Governor Youngkin’s guiding principles for education that will guide his administration’s work to restore excellence in education:

  • Set and maintain high expectations for students, schools and ourselves.
  • Advance the empowerment of parents and teachers to better serve students in partnership.
  • Demand zero tolerance for discrimination in education and beyond.
  • Foster innovation in all educational environments.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability so that every child is seen and receives what they need to succeed.
  • Ensuring preparation for post-secondary education so that all learners can succeed in life.
  • Protect and encourage freedom of expression and research to ensure that every student learns to think, not what to think.

“The future prosperity of our Commonwealth depends on how well our students are prepared,” Governor Youngkin said. “Working alongside parents, teachers and policy makers, we will restore excellence in education and ensure that all students have access to quality educational opportunities that prepare them to succeed in our places of learning. work, our communities and our democracy.”

The full report “Our Commitment to Virginians: High Expectations and Excellence for All Students” is available here. Superintendent Balow presentation material is available here.
Share.

Comments are closed.