RD567 - Progress Report on the Virginia Board of Education’s Development of a Profile of a Virginia Graduate – November 2016

Executive Summary:
The Board of Education is redesigning the high school experience and developing a Profile of a Virginia Graduate to better prepare all students for life after high school. The Board believes that the education provided during the k-12 grades should be of high quality and enable all students to achieve and apply academic knowledge, acquire productive workplace skills, exhibit responsible citizenship, and align their skills and interests with career opportunities. The Profile of a Virginia Graduate describes the knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences students must attain prior to graduation to be prepared for success in college and/or the workplace, competitive for the jobs of today and of tomorrow’s global economy, and successful in life. The Profile creates a framework for revisions to the Commonwealth’s graduation requirements that will go into effect with freshmen entering high school in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year, or the graduating class of 2022, and that will be reflected in amendments to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation or SOA).

In 2014, the Virginia Board of Education committed to conducting a comprehensive review of their regulations governing student achievement and graduation requirements, as well as the School Performance Report Card and school accreditation. Based on current estimates, by 2021 about 500,000 new jobs will be created in Virginia – many in scientific, technical, or healthcare areas. To be eligible and competitive for job opportunities in tomorrow’s economy, Virginia’s public school students will need opportunities to learn about multiple subject areas and to use personal skills during their educational years. The need to reconsider how Virginia children are educated stems from the evolution to a complex economy, with diverse and rapid change as underlying forces, rather than stability and standard workforce practices. Moreover, Board member discussions with businesses, the military, representatives of k-12 education and higher education, and parents about necessary work-ready skills and knowledge generate lists that include communication, interpersonal skills, responsibility, problem-solving and innovation.

As determined by the Board through its committee discussions and through communications with stakeholders, a Virginia high school graduate should be able to:

• achieve and apply appropriate academic knowledge;
• align knowledge, skills, and personal interests with career opportunities;
• attain and demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors;
• value and build connections with diverse communities; and
• understand personal and civic responsibility and governmental structure.

The Profile and subsequent changes in the regulations for requirements for graduation will become driving factors in further reforms to the State’s assessment and accountability systems The purpose of this report is to document the Board’s progress in developing the Profile.