SD6 - Review of Coordination Needs Within Virginia’s Education System

Executive Summary:
Senate Joint Resolution 32 (2010) directed JLARC to examine the role of the Secretary of Education in improving coordination between the Commonwealth’s public elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions of higher education.

Aspects of the education system that need to be coordinated include college readiness of high school graduates, student transfer between education levels, teacher preparation, career readiness and alignment with workforce needs, and research and evaluation of longitudinal data from preschool through college. This review found that Virginia’s education entities have cooperated to address each of the issues, but challenges remain. Additional coordination needs exist within each of the identified areas, and no single entity is responsible for the education system as a whole.

Structural changes could provide a mechanism to promote long-term coordination and accountability. Recommendations to increase coordination and accountability include establishment of a coordinating council consisting of leaders from all education levels and the business community, legislation to institute a biennial reporting responsibility for the Secretary, and designation of education agency staff as liaisons to each other’s governing boards.