Public Comments for 01/18/2021 Education - SOL and SOQ Subcommittee
HB1905 - Economic education and financial literacy required in middle and high school grades; employment.
Last Name: Hicks Organization: Cca-tidewater Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Locality: Norfolk

Tidewater Connection Alumni Association represents children and Communities primarily in the 757, specifically Norfolk. Systemic Racism with in has caused widespread problems. Two schools in the Berkley and Campostella school district of Norfolk are in the bottom ten schools of all schools in Virginia. Funding is need to uplift the Educational providence of Southside STEM Academy at Campostella and St.Helena ranked even lower. It has also been brought to attention that Special Needs Children are in Dyer need of State if not Federal intervention. I.E.P.'s are either not being followed, or the conditions identified are not be serviced to the fullest extent of the law. We ask for outside audit with input from parents and the Not For Profit Organization, cca-tidewater, Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Barrett Hicks, Executive Director tcaa757@gmail.com or tidewaterconnection4all@aol.com

Last Name: Alexander Organization: Virginia PTA Locality: Loudoun

The Virginia PTA supports the passage of HB1905. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) many students leave school with limited proficiency in understanding the impact of financial tools, such as credit cards, FICO scores, compound interest rates, and fiscal responsibility. Additionally, many students leave college with significant student loan debt and often lack background knowledge in long-term financial growth, investments and retirement planning. Virginia PTA strongly supports education opportunities that teach students financial planning and budget balancing techniques. We urge you to pass HB1905 to modernize the inclusion of financial literacy in the curriculum standards.

Last Name: Walker Organization: Virginia Society of CPAs Locality: Glen Allen

The Virginia Society of CPAs has long supported inclusion of economics and personal finance education requirements for Virginia students. HB 1905 enhances and modernizes the learning objectives of the requirement in alignment with current trends in employment. Accordingly, we support this legislation.

Last Name: Durkin Organization: Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Roanoke

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce supports this measure which should instill in our students a more complete picture of employment options once graduated from high school. Please vote "yes" on HB 1905.

Last Name: Pannabecker Organization: Virginia Organizing Locality: Blacksburg

Regarding HB 1929, Standards of Quality; work-based learning and principal mentorship, teacher leaders and mentors: -- As a parent of a child in the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) district in Southwest Virginia, HB1929 is a *TOP* priority bill that I want to see moved to a vote, passed, and signed into law this 2021 session. -- MCPS is one of Virginia's high-poverty school districts and we absolutely need the SOQs to be fully funded to increase funds for: the Equity Fund, school counselors to ensure at *least* one counselor for every 250 students, and to increase funding for English Learner students. --As a parent and community member, I have seen myself, and heard from other parents about the lack of student support from early elementary through secondary schools due to lack of funding for Support Staff, especially qualified school counselors. -- As a parent I have also seen the detrimental effects of low teacher support. If we want to succeed as a commonwealth, and if we want our children to succeed in their education and their lives, one of the *BEST* investments we can make is in their education. --Please pass HB1929 with all components and support it for vote in the General Assembly. Regarding HB1905 from Cole, this is a simple bill that is important to improve economic education and financial literacy in our secondary schools. With a child in secondary school, it's critical that students are taught about the current implications of today's employment arrangements that they may already be entered into, or that they will soon after graduation. Regarding HB1865 - Delaney Reading skills are critical to all subjects. This bill looks to provide targeted, evidence-based intervention resources as needed which is extremely important to ensure Virginia students succeed. Regarding HB1826 and HB1827 - Austin, it makes a great deal of sense to me to ensure that the Virginia Board of Education includes at least one member specializing in the areas noted in the bill, which are important to successful management of state education and student success. For HB1827 -- it is important that Geographical representation of members of the Virginia BOE include a representative from each region of Virginia. Often, areas like southwest VA and others are left out of such boards entirely.

HB2027 - Standards of Learning; reading and mathematics assessments for grades three through eight.
Last Name: Levin Organization: Henrico Parents Locality: GLEN ALLEN

I am writing to ask that you support HB 2027 for the following reasons: 1. VA still depends on SOLs, which are high-stakes, end-of-year testing, that requires immense time and resources. Given the end-of-year timing, these tests do not provide actionable information for teachers to use to support their students. The current high-stakes tests cause anxiety for students and teachers alike. The measure of year-end, one-time proficiency, means limited data on how well our schools serve their students over the year. This data gap has an even higher negative impact on low-income students, as it is too late when the results come in, for any intervention by teachers. By having the tests administered in the beginning, mid and end of the year, it allows the VA DOE and school divisions to direct resources to schools and students who need them most in a timely fashion. 2. This bill will reduce the total number of tests our kids have to take, but make the tests they do take, more effective in assessing the students’ strengths, weaknesses, and growth. 3. This bill is especially important in light of Covid, as it will help identify and address Covid related learning losses and gaps in real time, rather than at the end of the year, when teachers can no longer use the data to give extra support to students who need it most. 4. Students move to other localities and states. Currently, each division uses a different growth assessment tool. For example, Henrico has moved away from MAPs tests to Performance Matters tests. When different divisions use different tools and a student moves to a different division or state, it makes it all the more challenging for the new division to place the student in the correct level. 5. Having uniform growth assessment tests all across the Commonwealth will make the college application process more manageable for students and for higher education institutes when evaluating applications. The cost is small compared to the tremendous positive impact this will have, especially in light of the huge gaps resulting from Covid and virtual learning. I have also looked at the revenue reports and based on how they look, I see no reason it should not be funded. Thank you in advance, Yael Levin-Sheldon Henrico County

Last Name: Kessler Organization: Virginia School Boards Association Locality: Albemarle

The Virginia School Boards Association supports HB 2027. This bill proposes switching to a “Through-Year” growth assessment model, for English and Math SOLs in grades 3-8. This means that instead of end of year SOLs, students will take low-stakes which will allow districts to reduce the total amount of testing time and provide more accurate information on student progress and proficiency in these core areas. We urge the committee to report HB 2027 to the floor for debate in the full House of Delegates.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Keller Locality: Palmyra

As current Director of the Commonwealth Learning Partnership, I am actively involved in providing support and professional learning opportunities for educators across the Commonwealth. In my 40 years as a public educator, I have yet to find an educator who does not support a balanced assessment model; specifically an assessment model that measures growth and offers opportunities for students to apply what he/she has learned. HB2027 opens the door for further discussion and action around a balanced assessment model for all students, including a redesign of what currently exists. I am genuinely encouraged by the intent of HB2027 and, because I am in total agreement with VASCDs position on this bill, I respectfully re-submit the following comment from Dr. Laurie McCullough, who says it best: From Dr. McCullough, VASCD: VASCD’s policy priorities call for a state assessment system that reduces reliance on one type of test measuring one type of learning, and instead combines multiple measures to give us a more complete picture of student learning. We support HB2027 with one reservation. • We applaud efforts to provide growth data statewide in elementary reading and math. • We agree that three shorter, lower-stakes assessments that inform instruction better and interrupt instruction less is an important step in the right direction. • We enthusiastically support the long-range goal-- a system in which the purposes currently served by PALs, Benchmark tests, SOL tests, and locally chosen growth measures such as MAP are met in a more streamlined, less disruptive system. Our reservation lies in the plan to develop growth measures by expanding existing SOL item banks. Although we have statistical means for calculating expected and estimated growth scores on SOL tests, these tests do not give us direct information about students' movement along the reading and math skills continua, no matter how frequently they are administered. Measuring growth on the Standards will require more than jerry-rigging SOL item banks. We believe it will require a redesign of these tests or the inclusion of a different assessment that is aligned with the Standards and designed to measure growth. We heartily support and will welcome opportunities to assist in these efforts.

Last Name: Ferraro Locality: Chesterfield County

Hi, my name is Carolyn Ferraro and I have 2 children in Chesterfield County public schools. I graduated salutatorian of my high school class but my standardized test scores did not reflect my hardwork. I was not a great test taker. When I heard about the SOL's before I even had children I was not a fan. Testing anxiety for students is real and putting the pressure on one test at the end of a school year at this age is unnecessary. Plus it creates 3-4 weeks of wasted time at the end of the year0 after the test have been completed. Teachers end up teaching for a student to pass one test at the end of the year. Forcing them to rush through the curriculum and increasing the chance a child is left behind. We want to provide students with the tools they need to succeed. Growth based assessments allow teachers to determine what a student needs and allows them to adjust as necessary throughout the year. With SOL's the test scores are received at the end of the year and the teacher they have built a relationship with isn't able to help.

Last Name: Braxton Organization: Virginia First Cities Locality: Richmond (city)

Virginia First Cities Coalition supports HB 2027 as it is consistent with our policy work to limit the number of SOLs that students must take in their early years. A greater focus on the growth of students and their needs, and not simply teaching to the text, will, we believe, lead to more beneficial outcomes for the students.

Last Name: Smith Organization: Virginia Association of School Superintendents Locality: Palmyra

Initially, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents had concerns regarding what we felt might be a potential increase in SOL tests in this bill. However, Delegate Coyner has addressed these concerns in the amendment before the Subcommittee. We thank the Delegate this consideration. Thank you Dr. Tom Smith VASS

Last Name: McCullough Organization: Virginia ASCD Locality: Albemarle

I submitted previous comments from VASCD indicating that, while we supported the intent of the bill, we also had reservations. We reached out to Del. Coyner and appreciate her willingness to consider feedback from us as well as other groups. We are happy to support the bill in its amended form. Laurie McCullough VASCD Executive Director

Last Name: Jones Locality: Surry County

I feel that the SOL needs to be done away with....The teachers needs to teach about history, english and math. With the SOL, all the teachers are teaching is HOW TO PASS IT. These test are making kids drop of school. There are some kids that CAN NOT do algebra, CAN NOT understand Chemistry but get failed if they can not pass the SOL and it is not because they are stupid, it just does not click with some kids like it does with others. The school systems need to go back to General studies or Academic studies. Some kids are not going to college so they do not need an Advanced Diploma. I feel that if this would happen you would have less Drop-Outs and more kids staying in school.. Thank you

Last Name: Thrift Locality: Norfolk

I am writing today to ask that you support this bill. Not all students are good standardized test takers. I was one of them. It’s been many years since I’ve taken My SATs but I don’t know if even scored over 900 on them yet I was an honor roll student and involved in many extracurricular activities at school. Luckily my poor standardized test taking did not prevent me from graduating high school and attending college. My mom shares a story from her school of a young lady that passed her geometry class but couldn’t get her diploma because she couldn’t pass her geometry SOL. She took it 6 times. That is absolutely ridiculous and heartbreaking in my opinion. Unfortunately my daughter is just like me. She under performs on all standardized assessments she is given yet she is a straight A student. She will be going into 3rd this fall. That’s the first year for SOLs. Thanks to pandemic her anxiety around testing and school is through the roof. We are constantly working on ways to help her calm herself down. And she is getting better with it but I worry about her stress level next year. Our district has not returned to in person learning. She missed about 3 months of vital time in 1st grade when COVID hit where the emphasis at school was really reading. This year her reading has improved but I know she and so many other students would be reading at higher level if they were in a school building. I worry about all the kids that haven’t had in person instruction since March of 2020 being behind academically. I have hoped SOLs would go away from a very long time. This is the perfect time to move away from a test that doesn’t prove intelligence or what students have learned. Let teachers actually teach instead of having to cover what’s on a standardized test. Growth based assessments are definitely more appropriate. So many students will be returning in different levels due to their ability to learn virtually and based on the amount of help they receive at home. Students that were already behind will be even more behind after virtual learning. Let’s give those students a chance to catch up and provide teachers with data that will actually help them catch those students up instead of worrying about teaching what’s on SOL. Every teacher I know thinks SOLs were the worst thing to happen to education. Please listen to the parents and the teachers on this one. The affects of COVID on education and this generation are going to be with us for awhile. Please give students and teachers one less thing to worry about. I appreciate your time and attention.

Last Name: Shane Riddle Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond City

No single assessment like the end of year SOLs can meet all needs, and thus VEA believes HB2027 looks at balancing the following assessment sources: ● Continuous evidence from classroom assessment to support student learning; ● Periodic evidence supplied by progress monitoring and interim benchmark assessments; and ● Accountability based on growth and aggregated proficiency. This balance acknowledges that using tests that happen once a year, while helpful in setting resource priorities, are of limited value to those who must make instructional decisions. The future effectiveness of Assessment in Virginia schools and student learning will rely on our ability to move from an assessment system historically devoted to summative applications using annual test scores to one that clearly defines the type of Assessment and the appropriate use of the Assessment for student engagement in learning. Used appropriately, Assessment can be a powerful tool to help both educators and their students know where they are now in their learning progression and determine where students need to go next. With consistent, ongoing educator support and engaged students, Assessment for student learning can provide individualized support to meet each learner's needs. Traditionally, Assessment has been seen as occurring after teaching to measure what students have learned. This alternative approach weaves Assessment into teaching itself. The student and teacher work together to see where the student is along a continuum of success and determine what should come next. Ongoing, continual Assessment of student growth over time gives educators and students more frequent opportunities to adjust the course of learning to meet each student's needs. Research has revealed that such an approach yields profound achievement gains, with the largest gains accruing for struggling learners (Black & William, 1998a; Black & William, 1998b). We believe HB 2027 is especially important for students with disabilities, English-language learners (ELLs), and at-risk students. It flows into multiple measures to show student growth, which is a more appropriate way to determine how well students are doing and the progress they've made. HB 2027 would lower combined test time by capping at 150% of the current end-of-year SOL length, which will give teachers more time to teach. We ask the committee to favorably report HB 2027.

Last Name: Council Organization: Prince William County Schools Locality: Henrico

HB 2027 Comment of Prince William County Schools The 2014 General Assembly eliminated Standards of Learning assessments in Grade 3 History, Grade 3 Science, Grade 5 Writing, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present, but not for English and Math. Additionally, the Assembly’s action required local school divisions to continue to teach the content and to measure student achievement with local alternative assessments, including authentic or performance assessments. School divisions must certify annually that they have provided instruction and administered an alternative assessment, consistent with Board of Education guidelines, to students in grades and subject areas that no longer have a corresponding SOL test. Students in grades 3-8 already take annual tests in reading and mathematics, plus science tests in grades 5 and 8. Thus, grade 5-8 students already take a total 14 tests. I have read the White Paper entitled “Replace Current SOLs with Growth-Based Assessments”. It further describes PALs (the proposed substitute) as a “low stakes” growth assessment. It is my understanding that Federal testing requirements will still remain, so this bill does not reduce that. As such, it is not clear that there will be much (if any) of a reduction in the number of assessments. Generally, PWCS has supported the reduction in SOLs and the increased use of authentic performance assessments. It is not clear, however, that a low stakes PALs really accomplishes that goal but, in reality, just adds another test. For the reasons stated, we believe this bill needs additional work and clarity before recommending that it be reported. Jim Council Lobbyist

Last Name: Hicks Organization: Cca-tidewater Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Locality: Norfolk

Tidewater Connection Alumni Association represents children and Communities primarily in the 757, specifically Norfolk. Systemic Racism with in has caused widespread problems. Two schools in the Berkley and Campostella school district of Norfolk are in the bottom ten schools of all schools in Virginia. Funding is need to uplift the Educational providence of Southside STEM Academy at Campostella and St.Helena ranked even lower. It has also been brought to attention that Special Needs Children are in Dyer need of State if not Federal intervention. I.E.P.'s are either not being followed, or the conditions identified are not be serviced to the fullest extent of the law. We ask for outside audit with input from parents and the Not For Profit Organization, cca-tidewater, Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Barrett Hicks, Executive Director tcaa757@gmail.com or tidewaterconnection4all@aol.com

Last Name: Ward Organization: Virginia Public Education Partners Locality: Midlothian

I do not support high stakes testing. I do not support fewer SOL tests to be replaced by more "growth" tests. This is actually expanding testing instead of reducing it.

Last Name: Levin Organization: Henrico Parents Locality: GLEN ALLEN

I am writing to ask that you support HB 2027 tomorrow during the SOL/SOQ Subcommittee hearing tomorrow for the following reasons: 1. VA still depends on SOLs, which are high-stakes, end-of-year testing, that requires immense time and resources. Given the end-of-year timing, these tests do not provide actionable information for teachers to use to support their students. The current high-stakes tests cause anxiety for students and teachers alike. The measure of year-end, one-time proficiency, means limited data on how well our schools serve their students over the year. This data gap has an even higher negative impact on low-income students, as it is too late when the results come in, for any intervention by teachers. By having the tests administered in the beginning, mid and end of the year, it allows the VA DOE and school divisions to direct resources to schools and students who need them most in a timely fashion. 2. This bill will reduce the total number of tests our kids have to take, but make the tests they do take, more effective in assessing the students’ strengths, weaknesses, and growth. 3. This bill is especially important in light of Covid, as it will help identify and address Covid related learning losses and gaps in real time, rather than at the end of the year, when teachers can no longer use the data to give extra support to students who need it most. 4. Students move to other localities and states. Currently, each division uses a different growth assessment tool. For example, Henrico has moved away from MAPs tests to Performance Matters tests. When different divisions use different tools and a student moves to a different division or state, it makes it all the more challenging for the new division to place the student in the correct level. 5. Having uniform growth assessment tests all across the Commonwealth will make the college application process more manageable for students and for higher education institutes when evaluating applications. Sincerely, Yael Levin-Sheldon Henrico County

Last Name: McClintock Locality: Hanover

As a parent and teacher I am writing to ask you to please vote YES on HB2027. This is an incredibly intelligent move in the right direction for all of our children. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Last Name: Shriver Locality: Charlottesville

I am writing on behalf of the State and Local Government Policy Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. Please note that the views I express here are my own and do not represent the University of Virginia School of Law. We have had the privilege of working with Delegate Coyner in the research and drafting of HB 2027. Now that it has reached the General Assembly, we would like to highlight several of the reasons that this bill’s passage and the introduction of a “Through-Year” growth assessment model is both urgent and important for the students of the Commonwealth. • All students will receive more personalized instruction and will better understand their progress over the year. • Teachers will have more time for teaching (less time on test prep) and better data to help them plan personalized instruction. • Parents and students will receive information on what grade level the student is performing (proficiency score), and how much they’ve grown (growth score), highlighting the progress students are making and those areas where they still need to advance. • Schools will be evaluated more effectively on how they helped students make progress, allowing low-income schools in particular to better understand how they are serving students. • State officials will use proficiency scores to determine where resources are most needed, making sure that schools get the help and support they need to close achievement gaps. • Virginia will join the cutting edge of testing reform, joining states including Georgia, North Carolina, and Nebraska in implementing growth assessment models. While these changes would be important at any time, the COVID pandemic has made them urgent. The existing achievement gap has been exacerbated by COVID. This new growth assessment model will give teachers, school officials, and lawmakers the tools to identify and address these learning gaps earlier and more effectively. Beyond addressing these urgent learning gaps, HB 2027 will modernize the state’s testing system, and help students, families, and teachers ensure that every child has a chance to grow and succeed.

Last Name: McCullough Organization: VASCD Locality: North Garden

Virginia ASCD strongly supports adjustments to teacher salaries that will bring them in line with those of surrounding states, help to mitigate our growing problem with teacher shortages, and enable teachers to live and raise their families in the communities in which they work.

Last Name: McCullough Organization: VASCD Locality: North Garden

I’m submitting these comments on behalf of Virginia ASCD, a professional association of approximately 1500 Virginia educators including teachers, building administrators, and division-level leaders. For the past several years, we have advocated for a more balanced state assessment system, which we agree should include measures of growth in elementary reading and mathematics. Growth measures are widely recognized as important, including by the former SOL Innovation Committee’s Subcommittee on Assessment, which made several recommendations related to growth measures in its 2017 report. (https://www.education.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-education/pdf/sol-innovation-committee-fall-2017-report.pdf). VASCD’s policy priorities call for a state assessment system that reduces reliance on one type of test measuring one type of learning, and instead combines multiple measures to give us a more complete picture of student learning. We support HB2027 with one reservation. • We applaud efforts to provide growth data statewide in elementary reading and math. • We agree that three shorter, lower-stakes assessments that inform instruction better and interrupt instruction less is an important step in the right direction. • We enthusiastically support the long-range goal-- a system in which the purposes currently served by PALs, Benchmark tests, SOL tests, and locally chosen growth measures such as MAP are met in a more streamlined, less disruptive system. Our reservation lies in the plan to develop growth measures by expanding existing SOL item banks. Although we have statistical means for calculating expected and estimated growth scores on SOL tests, these tests do not give us direct information about students' movement along the reading and math skills continua, no matter how frequently they are administered. Measuring growth on the Standards will require more than jerry-rigging SOL item banks. We believe it will require a redesign of these tests or the inclusion of a different assessment that is aligned with the Standards and designed to measure growth. We heartily support and will welcome opportunities to assist in these efforts.

HB2058 - Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board; established, report.
Last Name: Lamar Organization: Virginia Nurses Association Locality: Chesterfield

The Virginia Nurses Association strongly supports this bill and recognizes the importance of high quality STEM education to expose students to important and high-demand fields such as healthcare at an early age. This Advisory Board will continue to play an important role in this regard.

Last Name: Dovi Organization: CodeVA Locality: Richmond

I support this bill. I do not wish to speak, as a CodeVA advocacy representative is already signed up to speak.

Last Name: Valenzuela Organization: Old Dominion University and Lifelong Learning Defined. Locality: N Chesterfield

I education coach, author and advocate Jorge Valenzuela, a teacher at Old Dominion University and representing ‘Lifelong Learning Defined, offer my full support for HB 2058 to create the Virginia STEM Advisory Board. This Advisory Board will be critical for helping to align STEM efforts throughout the Commonwealth. Furthermore, it will support the preparation of teachers who may not have an engineering or STEM background in understanding best practices for STEM in the classroom.

Last Name: McNair Organization: Center for Educational Networks and Impacts (CENI) at Virginia Tech Locality: Montgomery County

● I am the Director of a center at Virginia Tech that supports outreach between university researchers and the K12 community. I support HB 2058, which formally codifies the Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board and ensures a coordinated effort across the Commonwealth to provide high quality STEM education to all learners. This bill is the number one recommendation of the Commission and will have no fiscal impact on the budget. ● The Advisory Board will create the type of foundation that includes a common lexicon, a rubric for expectations, a plan for broadband access; a statewide communication system – as well as identify the key leaders across the stakeholder sectors: P-12, higher education (2- and 4-year institutions), business, industry, military, community organizations, governmental agencies. ● The passing of this bill will also help move forward a statewide STEM network in which many organizations will be encouraged to work together across the Commonwealth. Thank you for your consideration. Lisa McNair

Last Name: Newbill Organization: Center for Educational Networks and Impacts, Virginia Tech Locality: Craig County

I write to express my support for House Bill 2058, creating the Virginia STEM Advisory Board. Statewide coordination and guidance for STEM activities has the potential to improve STEM education offerings across the Commonwealth and better distribute resources to all the regions of the state. As the outreach and engagement coordinator for the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts at Virginia Tech, I have seen firsthand how excellent STEM opportunities inspire and educate learners. That inspiration and education are needed to develop a strong workforce, Commonwealth-wide. A statewide STEM advisory board would help stakeholders from K-12, higher education (2-year and 4-year), museums, libraries, corporate entities, government, and community organizations to have common language, rubrics, goals, and plans, thereby creating the space for coordinated efforts. The bill has no fiscal impact, and represents the first priority of the governor's STEM Commission. Phyllis L. Newbill Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts at Virginia Tech

Last Name: Hicks Organization: Cca-tidewater Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Locality: Norfolk

Tidewater Connection Alumni Association represents children and Communities primarily in the 757, specifically Norfolk. Systemic Racism with in has caused widespread problems. Two schools in the Berkley and Campostella school district of Norfolk are in the bottom ten schools of all schools in Virginia. Funding is need to uplift the Educational providence of Southside STEM Academy at Campostella and St.Helena ranked even lower. It has also been brought to attention that Special Needs Children are in Dyer need of State if not Federal intervention. I.E.P.'s are either not being followed, or the conditions identified are not be serviced to the fullest extent of the law. We ask for outside audit with input from parents and the Not For Profit Organization, cca-tidewater, Tidewater Connection Alumni Association Barrett Hicks, Executive Director tcaa757@gmail.com or tidewaterconnection4all@aol.com

Last Name: Alexander Organization: Virginia PTA Locality: Loudoun

I am writing on behalf of Virginia PTAs 175,000 members across 950 schools in support of HB2058. STEM careers in the United States are growing faster than other professions. While the demand for qualified professionals is high, the supply of workers to fill these positions is low—especially among women, minorities and students from low-income families. Every child, regardless of zip code, ethnicity, race or gender, should have high-quality hands-on exposure to science, technology, engineering and math to not only inspire students to pursue career opportunities in STEM fields but also to provide a foundation in STEM literacy which can benefit many career paths. We support the creation of a Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Board to promote a culture of collaboration and increased access to STEM programming for students across the Commonwealth.

Last Name: Magliaro Organization: Virginia STEM Education Commission Locality: Christiansburg, VA

● Good morning, Chairman VanValkenburg and members of the Committee. My name is Dr. Sue Magliaro and I am Professor Emerita from Virginia Tech and a member of the Virginia STEM Education Commission. ● I am here to speak in support of HB 2058, which formally codifies the Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board and ensures a coordinated effort across the Commonwealth to provide high quality STEM education to all learners. This bill is the number one recommendation of the Commission and will have no fiscal impact on the budget. ● The Advisory Board will create the type of foundation that includes a common lexicon, a rubric for expectations, a plan for broadband access; a statewide communication system – as well as identify the key leaders across the stakeholder sectors: P-12, higher education (2- and 4-year institutions), business, industry, military, community organizations, governmental agencies. ● The promise of a coordinated, statewide approach to advancing STEM Education for all needs to be in place for Virginia to meet needs for economic growth, and especially to revive our economy during this unprecedented pandemic – which has laid bare the educational disparities, lack of infrastructure, and information gaps. ● As the former director of the VT School of Education and VT-STEM, the university’s K-12 STEM outreach initiative, and assistant director of the VT Center for Educational Networks and Impacts, I know first-hand the need for a centralized, multi-sector approach to ensuring a STEM literate and STEM skilled populace. Communication, access, and collaboration are essential; and, a Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board is the first step. ● I urge you to pass this legislation. We have the people, we have the strategies, we have the will. Now we must create an on-going, stable presence at the state level to ensure that we have the advocacy and long-term commitment to make “STEM for all” a reality. ● Thank you.

Last Name: White Organization: Virginia Western Community College Locality: Botetourt County

Good Morning. I am Amy White and I am the Dean of the School of STEM at VWCC in Roanoke. I am here today to voice my full support for HB 2058, which would codify the Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board. I was honored to serve on the STEM Education Commission and this was our top recommendation, for many reasons. The reason I am here to highlight is equity in STEM Education. During the meetings of the commission, the disparities in resources for STEM education throughout the Commonwealth were repeatedly noted. As a lifelong resident of southwest Virginia, and as a 15 year employee of the community college system, I have lived with the reality of these disparities. In my professional and personal opinion, an advisory board that oversees this vital area of education for the entire state would be able to address these disparities and bring equal opportunities to our underserved students. Thank you for your time today, and for your service to our Commonwealth.

Last Name: Steele Organization: Project Lead The Way Locality: Orlando, FL

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a national STEM/CTE non-profit organization that provides transformational learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers in the fields of biomedical science, computer science and engineering. Our mission is to empower students to thrive in an evolving world. We work with districts across the commonwealth to implement high quality and relevant educational opportunities to better prepare teachers and students for successful careers. We advocate for policies that will enhance learning opportunities with a focus on best practices, equity and access for all. We are in favor of HB 2058 – Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board - as we believe this would bridge gaps and assist in addressing equity issues in STEM offerings. With the number of high-quality STEM related job opportunities in Virginia, it is our opinion that an advisory board would be a critical component to a high-functioning STEM ecosystem and workforce pipeline. We are in favor of HB 1885 – Comprehensive review of computer science standards, etc., in public schools - as computer science implementation can, in some instances, be challenging for districts. We believe that local implementation recommendations specific to computer science would greatly assist our district partners and increase the number of students able to access these courses. Thank you for your consideration.

End of Comments