By spring 2022, Talley has set a goal for all schools to maintain accreditation as measured by the Virginia Standards of Learning assessments. He also wants student absenteeism and extracurricular suspensions to be reduced by 10% and family engagement opportunities increased by 10%.
“I don’t think the test results are the most important thing we do,” said Talley. “A person cannot be measured by a test result alone.”
The notion of learning with a textbook, a notebook and a lecture is already giving way to a different method.
“We are orienting students towards a more project-oriented education,” said Talley. “We are asking the state to give us more things based on projects.
“You don’t need an encyclopedia anymore, you can go straight to Google and find anything.”
Talley said students at Martinsville public schools start learning with computers in kindergarten and continue until graduation.
“Few school divisions are doing this,” said Talley.
Before the pandemic, students were also spending time learning on the job, which Talley said was valuable, but not practical this school year.
“The on-site work experience is great, so as soon as COVID is over we will come back to it,” Talley said.