At next Monday's work session, the Fauquier County school board plans to send a message to Virginia legislators: lay off on the "high-stakes" standardized testing.
In a joint resolution, the board members write that using state and federal accountability tests as the "only assessment of learning" is strangling Virginia public schools and undermining the ability of teachers to prepare their students for the 21st century.
"We do not oppose accountability in public schools and point with pride to the stellar performance of our students, but believe that the system of the past will not prepare our students to lead in the future and neither will the standardized tests that so dominate their instructional time and block our ability to make progress toward a world-class education system of student-centered schools and future-ready students," said the school board members in the resolution.
Fauquier County schools are not "failing" by state standards. None of them are on the list of "priority schools" that face direct intervention from the state. But recent federal benchmarks released earlier this week
highlighted flagging math performance for black and disabled students in nine of Fauquier's schools.
Dr. David Jeck, superintendent of Fauquier schools, has vowed to continue raising the bar for all students in his district. At the same time, he has shown the same weariness as the school board and many teachers toward the Standards of Learning exams, a system they say has not evolved with the times, which teaches students to take multiple-choice exams and which fails to stress teamwork and leadership skills that educators say students need.