Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 131]
Action 2007-2008 revisions
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/5/2008
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10/24/08  8:44 am
Commenter: Keith S. Farrell

Graduation Index
Dear Members of the Board of Education:
I am a Virginia resident and a strong supporter of our public schools.  I appreciate the Board's efforts to make graduation rates a priority for Virginia high schools, but given the importance of producing graduates ready for college, work, and life, I'm writing to ask that you take a stronger stand.  My oldest son Stephen was not well served by the special education services and he struggled all the way through High School until he finally dropped out and took the GED.  He scored very high on the rest of the test, but his Language Arts score was 450, the minimum passing score for that part.  If he had been properly tested and diagnosed he might have received the help he needed to make school an enjoyable part of his childhood instead of a hellish nightmare of constantly failing and being made to feel like he was dumb.  Stephen has scored 130 on a Mensa IQ test using a (reading only) assistant, so the problem wasn't his intelligence, it was our school systems failure to notice that an unusually bright student had trouble reading, and couldn't succed. 

Please increase the target for the graduation index to at least 90 points, OR adjust the graduation and completion index so that it gives schools more points for Standard and Advanced Diplomas and fewer points for all alternative diplomas and other credentials. 

Virginia’s students need to receive appropriate supports to reach their potentials, and schools and the Commonwealth as a whole will benefit from incentives to provide the needed supports.
Thank you for your consideration.  I hope you'll do all that you can to increase the number of students who successfully graduate ready to fulfill their greatest potential.
Keith S. Farrell
938 Greenwood Road
Winchester, VA 22602
CommentID: 2884