Gov. Bob McDonnell’s wish list includes reforms for public education

FILE - In this Monday Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell acknowledges applause as as he arrives to address a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. McDonnell enters the fourth and final year of the single, nonrenewable term that Virginia allows its governors, and he is still hunting for a legacy as he explores his presidential potential heading toward 2016. He hopes two reform initiatives he will place before the GOP-ruled 2013 General Assembly will secure that legacy. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Kathy Stewart,

WASHINGTON – Virginia’s governor is out with his wish list for the state’s public schools, and he’s hoping state legislators give him a passing grade on his new proposals.

Just in time for the new legislative session that starts Wednesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell rolled out the second part of his 2013 legislative agenda to reform K-12 education.

McDonnell’s education initiatives for the new session include rating school performance with an “A” through “F” letter grade system, instead of the current numeric grade, as a way to make it easier for parents to understand how their child’s school is performing.

McDonnell also hopes to bring “Teach for America” to Virginia, a program that helps find and train teachers for hard-to-staff schools.

Working to improve the education experience is nothing new for McDonnell. Last month, he talked about raising teacher pay as a part of his education reform legislative package for 2013.

In the second phase of the governor’s legislative agenda on education, McDonnell wants to cut down on red tape for school divisions and educators, provide early reading intervention programs for students through 3rd grade and provide algebra intervention programs for students in 6th through 9th grades who are at risk for failing the end-of-course test.

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