Public Comments for: HB221 - STEM+C; included in Standards of Learning, Bd. of Education to incorporate certain provisions.
Last Name: Choate Locality: Henrico

Please pass HB217. Moe can be done to encourage and educate students about opportunities in STEM-C fields and to make sure that educational opportunities in our schools are adequately supporting students pursuing these goals. Identifying the full range of employment opportunities in these areas and the education needed to succeed in them can only be a benefit. Please pass HB221. Please oppose HB344. The establishment of charter schools should remain with local school boards who are accountable to their constituents. Members of the State Board of Education are appointed and consequently are accountable only to those who appointed them. Also, this bill provides that there is no longer the opportunity to revisit the decisions of this State or local boards in granting or continuing such charter. The public should not lose a mechanism of redress already in place. Please oppose HB346. The establishment of charter schools should remain with local school boards who are accountable to their constituents. Extending the establishment of charter and lab schools to private institutions of higher ed and private businesses further removes the oversight of such schools to boards that have no accountability to the public that they serve. Please oppose HB356. The establishment of charter schools should remain with local school boards who are accountable to their constituents. Please oppose HB486. Governor's School admissions should not be constricted by an arbitrary quota of students from one district. Please oppose HB563. While assisting local districts in funding construction where school buildings are in disrepair is a desirable goal, the diversion of funds allocated for instruction should not be institutionalized as a regular mechanism to accomplish this. Please pass HB585. Standardized testing has become the tail that wags the dog in education. Increasing amounts of time are dedicated to teaching towards the test and administering tests to the detriment of education tailored to the needs of students and localities. Reducing such testing the minimum required for federal accountability would free time and resources to more fully meet the needs of students. Please oppose 789. Family life education should remain an opt out program instead of an opt in program. The latter puts an onerous burden on schools for the delivery of this important curriculum. Please oppose HB988. Transgender students deserve equal protection in schools across the Commonwealth. All school districts should maintain certain expectations in this regard. Please pass HB994 Please pass HB1005. This bill stipulates that teachers under continuing contract can resign within the school year but must do so providing 2 weeks of notice. Such a provision provides more time for local school districts to make arrangements for staffing adjustments. Please pass HB1023. Human trafficking is increasingly a problem in the Commonwealth and beyond. Our students should be alert to its threats and educated as to how to protect themselves from it. Please pass HB1026. With technology and the internet playing an increasing role in every aspect of our lives, expanding our understanding of this role and improving education surrounding it can only be a good thing. Please pass HB1299. Our students need as much information as possible about their opportunities after graduating from our public school system.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Please move to report HB344, HB346, HB356, HB789, HB1188, HB221, HB340, HB1125, HB1215, HB988, HB1023, HB1093. Please gently PBI HB486 so that academic merits ONLY decide who gets in.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Please move to report HB221, 340, 533, 873, 1032, 1100, 1125, 1347. Thank you.

Last Name: Friesen Locality: Fairfax

Comments Document

As a computer programmer who graduated from a liberal arts college, at least in the younger grades it is not STEAM/STEM/computing that we need. Instead we need systematic instruction in history from the earliest primary grades (instead of the scattershot version we have now that goes over basically holidays only for kindergarten through second grade). We need structured literacy in the primary grades and beautiful literary in the upper elementary grades and beyond. We need the liberal arts as our guiding framework, not STEAM, industry, and computing. Even for students who will go on to applied careers and the trades, we need cultural literacy to be a coherent people. And even for students who will go on to computing, it's formal logic that gives the understanding needed for discrete math and boolean logic later. Rather than striking out widely after buzzwords, it's a classical liberal arts education that would best suit the Commonwealth's kids. Don't just take my word for it - please read the attached op-ed on the importance of liberal arts even in STEM fields.

End of Comments