Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Virginia Standards of Accreditation [8 VAC 20 ‑ 132]
Revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia
Action 6308
General Information
Action Summary Since the last revision to the Standards of Accreditation in 2017, it has become apparent that the Standards of Accreditation merit further review to align better with Board goals. Although Virginia’s public schools have long been regarded as among the best in the nation, the Commonwealth has seen widening gaps in student achievement and a significant slip in comparison with other states on numerous academic measures. For example, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (“NAEP”) shows that Virginia has wide gaps between student proficiency standards on state reading and math assessments and the grade-level proficiency benchmarks: only 38% of Virginia fourth graders and 33% of eighth graders were proficient in reading on the 2019 NAEP, compared with 75% and 76% respectively on the 2019 state fourth- and eighth-grade SOL reading tests. Further compounding these issues is pandemic-related learning loss, which one publisher of widely used K-12 assessments has shown to be worse in Virginia than the national average (see Renaissance: How Kids Are Performing). Moreover, preliminary data from the 2022–2023 SOL assessments indicate that Virginia students continue to see learning loss. Additional information can be found in the VDOE’s Our Commitment to Virginians. The true state of Virginia’s school system, however, does not appear to be adequately captured by the current accreditation system. The Board will revise the current accreditation system in order to increase transparency, improve student success for all students, and aid in the allocation of Commonwealth resources into Virginia schools. Without a clear picture of the relationship between school performance and student performance, neither the Board nor the General Assembly can find the proper solutions to the problems faced by Virginia students. The Board is considering a full revision of the Standards of Accreditation as an integral step to improving the state of public schools.
Chapters Affected
  VAC Chapter Name Action Type
Primary 8 VAC 20-132 Virginia Standards of Accreditation Promulgate New Regulation
Other chapters
  8 VAC 20 - 131 Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia Repeal Entire Regulation
Executive Branch Review This action will go through the normal Executive Branch Review process.
RIS Project Yes  [7679]
New Periodic Review This action will not be used to conduct a new periodic review.
Stages associated with this regulatory action.
Stage ID Stage Type Status
10109 NOIRA Stage complete. Comment period ended 11/08/2023.
10286 Proposed Stage complete. Comment period ended 07/05/2024.
Contact Information
Name / Title: Jim Chapman  / Director of Board Relations
Address: James Monroe Bldg.
101 N. 14th St., 25th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Email Address:
Phone: (804)750-8750    FAX: ()-    TDD: ()-

This person is the primary contact for this agency.