Governor Ralph Northam is recognizing today, September 25, as Virginia is for Learners Day. Secretary of Education Atif Qarni will present the governor’s proclamation to Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane during an “On the Square” event at 11:30 a.m. at the State Capitol. Lane — who began his career in public education as a band teacher — will then conduct the Varina High School Marching Band in celebration of the proclamation.
Virginia is for Learners is an initiative to ensure that all public school students are ready to thrive after graduation. The campaign launched in April 2019 to engage students, parents, educators and employers through a coordinated set of future-focused strategies to increase the momentum of major changes to public education made by the commonwealth. These changes provide a comprehensive view of school quality while placing an increased emphasis on racial and economic equity with a goal to elevate expectations that schools will prepare all students to succeed in college or the workforce.
“On Virginia is for Learners Day, we celebrate the commonwealth's ongoing work to transform our approach to educating Virginia's students,” said Northam. “This proclamation declares our commitment to students, parents, communities and employers that all Virginians will have access to the academic experiences that cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary for success in life beyond high school.”
“Virginia is for Learners Day celebrates the work that is happening in our schools to ensure that we are providing learning environments that align with the needs of our students,” Qarni said. “By proclaiming this day, we commit to keeping the progress going as we strive to connect every student with the real-world experiences that will allow them to excel in the 21st-century workforce.”
“We are excited to officially recognize September 25 as Virginia is for Learners Day,” Lane said. “When we launched this initiative, the goal was to share the hope and optimism that we have for the future of our students by changing the future of learning in our schools. On this day we are demonstration our dedication to leading the way on advancing equitable academic outcomes for all students by modernizing and reforming our public education system to ensure that they are globally competitive.”
The Virginia is for Learners initiative includes the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Board of Education, and partner organizations including Jobs for the Future, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, the Virginia Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Virginia School Consortium for Learning, and several schools of education, including those at William & Mary and George Mason University. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided initial support for policy and practice activities that made the launch of the initiative possible.