Based on conversation with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Leadership, an area of focus is the Literacy curriculum in grades 3-8. VDOE has created an Open Education Resource (OER) System to house a statewide database of instructional resources that will launch in January 2020. Schools systems are encouraged to share resources in the OER system. VDOE staff are working to support school divisions in the use of high quality, culturally responsive literacy instruction which integrates reading and writing. The VDOE Leadership Team has requested support in expanding the use of the OER system to include soliciting local school division literacy curricula, and vetting these curricula using committees of educators and a determined set of criteria. Ultimately, this Leadership Team is interested in identifying high quality, culturally responsive literacy curricula for grades 3-8 which could be used by school divisions that might not have the resources to develop such a curriculum locally.
Recent NAEP scores (2019) indicate that 38% of 4th grade students are scoring at or above proficient in reading (lower than 2017) and 69% are performing at or above basic (not significantly different from 2017). For 8th grade, 33% of students performed at or above proficient (not significantly different than 2017), and 71% scored at or above basic (a drop from 2017). School systems are responsible for creating and developing their own curriculum, which often leads an inequity in quality.
Approach to Capacity Building Services
In partnership with VDOE, Region 5 Comprehensive Center will support in their effort to solicit resources and identify areas of need and resource gaps. As a first step, the Center will review and support the development of an OER management plan developed by VDOE. The Region 5 Center will also conduct a communications audit of the OER rollout. Finally, Region 5 will conduct a vetting process scan, exploring what is available to inform the development of a vetting process for instructional quality in literacy.