July 25, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
The Board of Education today approved an incentive program to reward and recognize fully accredited schools and school divisions making significant progress toward academic excellence. The Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) will award points to schools and divisions based on the percentage of students achieving at the advanced level on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments and progress made toward educational goals advocated by Governor Timothy M. Kaine and adopted by the board.
"The Board of Education is answering my challenge to encourage and reward academic excellence," said Governor Kaine. "With the VIP incentive program, schools and divisions that have mastered the SOLs will earn further recognition for meeting goals that exceed our minimum competency standards while preparing children for productive lives and the opportunities of the global marketplace."
In addition to earning points for advanced achievement on SOL tests, schools and divisions will earn bonus points for progress toward excellence in other areas, including increasing:
- Enrollment of at-risk four-year-olds in the Virginia Preschool Initiative
- The percentage of students reading at grade level by the third grade
- Enrollment in Algebra I by grade 8
- Enrollment of high school students in college-level courses
- High school graduation rates
- The percentage of graduates with advanced diplomas and industry certifications
"The VIP incentive program incorporates Governor Kaine's "competence to excellence" objectives into Virginia's accountability system," said Board of Education President Mark E. Emblidge. "This program will encourage schools to keep challenging students while broadening opportunities for learning and achievement."
"The VIP program will make Virginia's accountability system more meaningful to the public by differentiating schools and divisions that are excelling," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr. "VIP also recognizes excellence in areas that impact learning, such as the success of a school or division in promoting healthy lifestyles, physical activity and good nutrition."
Eligible school divisions and schools earning at least 80 out of a possible 100 points will receive a Governor's VIP Award for Educational Excellence. To qualify, schools and divisions also must meet all state and federal achievement benchmarks for two consecutive years and meet or exceed all VIP objectives, which reflect Governor Kaine's competence to excellence agenda.
Schools and divisions that do not qualify for a Governor's VIP Award for Education Excellence may qualify for one of the following recognitions:
- VIP Excellence Award for meeting state and federal achievement standards for two consecutive years and earning a VIP score of 80 points or more.
- VIP Competence to Excellence Award for meeting state and federal achievement benchmarks for two consecutive years and earning a VIP score between 75 and 80 points.
- VIP Rising Star Award for meeting state and federal achievement standards for two consecutive years while significantly improving VIP scores.
"This multi-tiered incentive program will challenge all schools and divisions, regardless of where they are on the journey from competence to excellence," said Chief Deputy Superintendent Patricia I. Wright, who presented the VIP program to the board during today's meeting in Richmond.
VIP awards will be announced annually in the fall based on achievement during the previous school year. Awards may include banners, plaques and monetary awards. The education community and the private sector will be invited to sponsor various incentives, including cash awards. The first VIP awards will be announced this fall.