McDonnell’s plan to reform low performing schools

Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-08 13:25:33-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Every parent wants the best for their child when it comes to education.  Friday Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said he has figured out how to keep parents informed and turn around low-performing schools.

Governor McDonnell, along with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, laid out his K-12 education reform for Virginia students.  There are two key elements McDonnell wants to implement. One is an A through F grading system, not for students but for the schools.  McDonnell said this would make it easier for parents to understand how their child's school is performing.  The process would mimic one already in effect in Louisiana.

"Every child in Virginia, every child in Louisiana, every child in America has a chance to get a great education," Governor Jindal said.  "This is inherited and intrinsic in the American dream."

McDonnell also pushed for what he calls "Opportunity Educational Institution."  Simply put , this would allow an 11-member board to go into chronically failing schools and attempt to restore them.  Both McDonnell and Jindal said these are extreme measures that may be used in extreme situations.

"An 'F' school is not acceptable for any kid in Virginia," Governor McDonnell said.  "And therefore after a couple years it will be a transition to the opportunity school district that will manage the school and provide some or another alternative.  And it can be an alternative management structure, charter school, virtual school but there will be a change.  The status quo won't be acceptable."

Opponents argue McDonald's plan would only shed a negative light on at-risk students.

The Virginia House of Delegates already gave McDonnell preliminary approval for a board to take over low performing schools.  The governor now has to convince the state Senate to also give its stamp of approval.