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 Ended on 11/5/2008
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10/27/08  1:12 pm
Commenter: Katherine B. Hoffman, Charlottesville NOW

Graduation Rates Matter

Dear Members of the Board of Education:

As President of the Charlottesville regional chapter of the National Organization for Women, as a mother of two children who attended public schools and who are now in college, as a Virginia resident, and as a strong supporter of our public schools for all our students, I write to ask you to make graduation rates matter. 

Graduation rates are one of your priorities which we appreciate for Virginia high schools, but for each individual we need to make that a priority.  Successful education is the success of each and every individual and strongly impacts their future.  Our Virginia students need to be ready for college, work in an international economy of unknown ups and downs, and for standing on their own feet and making a life for themselves.  

This organization has a purpose to "bring women into full participation in American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities in equal partnership with men includ[ing] equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life...[and] freedom from discrimination because of race, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual preference/orientation, or parenthood.”  and we have goals to;

Changing Cultural Attitudes and Images - Charlottesville NOW seeks to free women and men from the oppression of pre-determined gender roles. Stereotyping limits aspirations and opportunities for women and girls in education and careers.

Improving the Economic Status of Women - Charlottesville NOW is dedicated to empowering women financially and overcoming society's apathy towards the feminization of poverty. The vast majority of the poor in our country are women and children. Barriers inhibiting access to basic education, health care, and social services—and the persistence of low-income “women's work”—contribute to an ongoing cycle of poverty. We work to reduce the disparity in earnings between men and women (known as the “wage gap”); eradicate sex discrimination in employment, credit, insurance, inheritance laws, taxes, and advertising; and increase the number of women in positions of power.

Eliminating Racism and Protecting Minority Rights - Charlottesville NOW is committed to eliminating discrimination against individuals, including their sex, race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or national origin. We particularly want to end the double burden carried by women of color because of the discrimination they experience due to their race as well as their sex. We work to secure full human rights for all people, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals. We seek a unified women's movement that promotes respect for the uniqueness and dignity of every individual.

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. 

Individual students need to receive appropriate supports to reach their potentials; all the communities and  the Commonwealth as a whole will benefit from incentives to provide the needed supports to ensure the maximum possible graduate with regular diplomas to help they be ready to fulfill their greatest potential.


Kobby Hoffman


Charlottesville National Organizatoin for Women (CNOW)


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