May 4, 2006
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
A prominent education journal today ranked Virginia as a national leader in the use of technology and data to improve instruction and raise student achievement.
Virginia received a letter grade of A- and a score of 92 from Education Week in the magazine’s annual report on educational technology. Only one state, West Virginia, received a higher grade in the magazine’s May 4 report: Technology Counts 2006 Using Data to Accelerate Achievement.
Education Week cited Virginia’s low student-to-computer ratios, online assessment program, and technology standards for students and teachers in ranking Virginia as a national leader.
“Technology enhances classroom instruction and allows educators to use data to create programs that address the instructional needs of individual students and student subgroups,” said Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. “National recognition of the commonwealth’s leadership in this area reflects the foresight of the legislators, governors, and educators who understood the potential of educational technology and the importance of making sure that all students experience its benefits.”
The commonwealth launched the Standards of Learning (SOL) Technology Initiative in 2000 with the goal of reducing student-to-computer ratios, creating Internet-ready local area networks and high-speed, high bandwidth capability in all schools, and establishing a statewide online testing system.
“Six years into the initiative, we have met or exceeded all of our goals,” said Lan Neugent, assistant superintendent for technology and human resources. Since 2000, Virginia students have taken more than 1,000,000 SOL tests online. All of the commonwealth's high schools, 69 percent of middle schools, and 29 percent of Virginia's elementary schools now meet the initiative's objectives for educational technology.