first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Virginia’s public schools have a reputation for high standards, an attribute that historically has made serving at a Virginia military installation a favorable assignment for military families.Recently, however, an independent education organization found a significant gap between students’ proficiency scores on the state’s Standards of Learning assessments with their scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests. The discrepancy of about 35 percentage points indicates the Virginia Department of Education has lowered its learning standards to improve students’ proficiency scores, writes Sandy Law, a military wife and mother of three sons, in a commentary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.“This may make parents feel good for a while. But if it keeps up, it will ultimately hurt Virginia’s reputation and desirability as a duty station,” writes Law, a member of Military Families for High Standards.The issue already has become apparent for military families moving to Virginia. “Whereas many military families used to worry that their students would be behind once they got here, I am not alone in finding that students are actually more proficient than their Virginia peers,” she says.Law urges the state Department of Education to address its “honesty gap” now, given DOD’s interest in shedding some of its excess infrastructure, which stands at an estimated 22 percent. She notes that military leaders previously have cited the quality of local schools as a factor in the services’ basing decisions.“[Virginia] must take the necessary steps to hold students to high levels of proficiency on the Standards of Learning assessments. Military families, and indeed all families who care about strong public schools, are looking to the commonwealth for leadership,” Law concludes.last_img read more

first_img Share your voice Random Post a comment 13 Photos Bill Gates Bill Gates has some suggestions for your 2019 summer reading list. Bill Gates/Gates Notes Summer vacation is almost here in the northern hemisphere. Woo-hoo! You’re heading to the beach. You could pack a romance novel or a lightweight spy caper. Or you could pack the five books Microsoft founder Bill Gates recommends you read. Get ready to get heavy.Gates’ summer reading list is an annual tradition. He released the latest version on his Gates Notes blog on Monday, giving you plenty of time to hit your local bookstore for some thought-provoking reading to pack with your sunscreen and bathing suit.”I’ve recently found myself drawn to books about upheaval (that’s even the title of the one of them) — whether it’s the Soviet Union right after the Bolshevik revolution, the United States during times of war, or a global reevaluation of our economic system,” Gates wrote, saying most of these books deal with the idea of disruption. 0 UpheavalJared Diamond’s Upheaval delves into “how nations managed existential challenges like civil war, foreign threats and general malaise” through a group of case studies. Gates acknowledged this might sound like a bummer, but said he left the book feeling optimistic about our ability to solve problems.Nine PintsIf you made it through all the bloodshed of Game of Thrones, then chances are good you can handle Nine Pints by Rose George. The subtitle clues you into the subject: “A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood.” “It’s filled with super-interesting facts that will leave you with a new appreciation for blood,” Gates said.A Gentleman in MoscowNow we detour into the realm of fiction with Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow. This bestselling novel follows the rich Count Alexander Rostov who is living under house arrest in a hotel in Moscow in the 1920s. The book spans several decades. Gates called it “fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat.” Presidents of WarMichael Beschloss’ Presidents of War tackles the complicated history of US presidents and the conflicts the country became involved in, including the War of 1812 and the Vietnam War. “Beschloss’s broad scope lets you draw important cross-cutting lessons about presidential leadership,” said Gates.The Future of CapitalismGates said he doesn’t agree with everything in Paul Collier’s The Future of Capitalism, but that the author’s “background as a development economist gives him a smart perspective on where capitalism is headed.” Gates recommended this as a good analysis of the problems around capitalism today.While these five titles make up the official summer reading list, Gates also threw in a plug for his wife Melinda Gates’ The Moment of Lift, a book about the women who have inspired her. “I know I’m biased, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year,” he said. These books should keep you busy until the end of 2019 when we can expect Gates’ annual list of his favorite books of the year. 1:08 Tags How to check out digital library books Inside Microsoft’s HoloLens development lab Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more