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Why school report cards in Virginia are changing

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Department of Education is getting ready to make changes to school report cards and the department wants the public to weigh in on the changes.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is surveying parents and other members of the public to find out what information and features should be added to the online performance report cards the department publishes for schools, school divisions and the state.

“The current report cards provide a wealth of data, but the static format limits the usefulness of the information and can be confusing,” superintendent of public instruction Steven R. Staples said. “The results of this survey will help the department and the state board of education identify additional indicators to provide the public with a fuller understanding of a school’s or division’s performance.”

Information from the survey will be presented later this year to the board of education, which was directed by the 2015 general assembly to unveil redesigned report cards to the public by October 1, 2016.

Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said the goal is to make school report cards more interactive and make it easier for the public to research information about Virginia schools.

“You will be able to look at the performance of students and to have some interactive tools available as part of our report card to allow a parent or another Virginia user to drill in on a particular area of interest," he said.

Pyle said the survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and must be completed by august 14. The 16-item survey may be accessed here.

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