Training K-12 Students to Go Deeper

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The goal of public education is to prepare students to succeed as adults in a changing world. As every parent knows, success requires more than just strong knowledge of facts and figures. The keys to a healthy and productive life are real-world skills like critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship skills. Virginia is transforming its educational approach to develop these skills in students at every phase of their K-12 experience.


Educators are being trained to emphasize new skills in the classroom

Virginia’s education system is among the best in the nation – thanks in large part to the outstanding work of education professionals across the Commonwealth. A key part of the Virginia is for Learners initiative is equipping teachers and school professionals with the tools to deliver content knowledge and help students develop the skills they need to apply that knowledge.

While past educational approaches focused on making sure kids know things when they pass from one grade to the next, Virginia is for Learner’s deeper learning focus is about preparing students to do things with that knowledge like think creatively, communicate effectively and become engaged citizens.


New assessments track student performance

For decades, Virginia has been a national leader in developing standards for student learning and tracking their progress to ensure that no one is left behind. As the needs of students and employers change in a modern economy, the Commonwealth is updating standardized testing to better track not only what a student knows, but how ready they are to apply that knowledge in the real world.

Parents may have begun to see these new testing approaches in their kids’ schools, as students are asked to move past filling in multiple-choice bubbles and demonstrate their true understanding of concepts through short essays and other vehicles. These new tests and the data they will provide will help shape curriculum and instruction so that every student has the knowledge and the skills they need to succeed after graduation.

For more information about student assessments in Virginia, please visit the VDOE Testing and Assessment website.

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