The report further critiques what it calls school districts’ lack of transparency regarding declining student performance — and it laments parents’ “eroding” confidence in the state’s public schools.

Hannah Natanson and Laura Vozzella

“We are not serving all of Virginia’s children and we must,” Youngkin said at a news conference in Richmond, where he and his education team presented the report. “We want to be the best in education. We should be the best in education. And the data that is compiled and shared with you today suggests that we have a lot of work to do to be the best.”

A Washington Post analysis of the report, though, suggests its use of data is misleading, and shows Virginia students performed at least as well as or better than students nationwide over the past several years. And some educators and politicians took immediate exception to the report Thursday, criticizing its presentation and analysis of student test scores.

Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said in a statement: “To accuse Virginia’s education system of failure is an outright lie, supported by cherry-picked data and warped perspective.”

Although Youngkin has rejected equity initiatives in education and called “equity” a “very confusing word,” he promised on Thursday to address racial and socioeconomic performance gaps by providing more funding for school facilities, raises for teachers, and innovation in early childhood and literacy programs — all things expected to be included in the two-year state budget that the General Assembly must finalize before July 1. And he vowed to employ the best teachers to serve the students most in need.

The Education Department report also outlines steps to improve students’ academic skills, including developing an improved in-state assessment system, revising Virginia’s school accreditation standards and hiring reading specialists to improve student literacy.

At Thursday’s news conference, Virginia’s top education officials condemned education policy decisions made by previous administrations, especially a 2017 revision of Virginia accreditation standards that allowed students’ academic progress to count toward accreditation along with their test scores. Education Secretary Aimee Guidera said such initiatives were part of a misguided push for equity.

“There was a general culture of lowering expectations,” Guidera said. “What happened before was we took our eye off the ball in the state of Virginia.”

Notes on mediocrity.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

No When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?