Public Comments for: HB585 - SOL; work group to revise summative assessments, etc.
To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 1034. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. I have worked in two different public school systems in Virginia over 13 years, and I have seen first hand how beneficial counseling services can be to a wide variety of students. If parents are allowed to prohibit their students from accessing counseling services in the school, these students may be cut off from not only critical mental health support, but but also the academic, career, and community support that school counselors and mental health team members provide. All members of a school mental health team must undergo rigorous education before obtaining their licenses, and as such they should be trusted as the professionals they are to provide only services that they deem necessary for students well-being. I strongly urge you to let the trained mental health professionals do their jobs. Don't make students get tied in the mire of adult squibbles. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen
To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB HB1032. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. As VA Senator Peterson said on January 27 of this year, regarding a similar bill, "I don't think we should be involved in micromanaging school libraries...The problem is that you’re going to sweep up books that you don’t intend to sweep up" (Matthew Barakat, abcnews.go.com). I strongly urge you to leave the books in the libraries for the kids. They deserve to have the opportunity to decide with their own parents and personal support systems what books to read. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen
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.