Under Stewart Roberson’s capable leadership the work of the SOL Innovation Committee is well under way. Comprised of 30 Virginians from across the Commonwealth who were selected by Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton – seven of whom are Curry alumni – the committee has a momentous charge. They are making recommendations to the Board of Education and the General Assembly on ways to further reform SOL assessments and student growth measures and encourage innovative teaching in the classroom.
“In an unprecedented way, the stars are aligned for the Committee to help drive the revision of far-reaching, impactful educational policy affecting all of Virginia’s classrooms,” Roberson says. “The Committee members’ recognition that they are uniquely positioned to advance substantive, genuine, and positive change is very motivating.”
Roberson is proud that the committee has implemented a process designed to reinforce the tenet that effective and joyful teaching is central to authentic student achievement. The recognition that every learner should be measured in a way that is reflective of his or her needs has enabled great policy movement, he says.
“Robust policy discussions” lie ahead, Roberson predicts, in light of two of the Committee’s recent recommendations:
- The state’s accreditation and assessment systems should change to reflect best practices supported by research and evidence
- High school programming should be redesigned to better serve the full continuum of students while equally emphasizing college and career readiness.
“More bold policy recommendations will follow,” he says.
Beyond the SOL Innovation Committee, Roberson has chaired since 2001 the K-12 Advisory Council, a partnership between 32 Virginia school divisions and the University of Virginia. He was named Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents in 2000. He has since led that organization and the Urban Superintendents of America.
His leadership in Virginia extends to higher education as well. He serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges and the board of directors of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. He formerly served on the board of trustees for AdvancED, the world’s largest educational accrediting agency, as well as a member of the board of governors of International Baccalaureate.
In an unprecedented way, the stars are aligned for the Committee to help drive the revision of far-reaching, impactful educational policy affecting all of Virginia’s classrooms.
The Curry School’s Role
“Curry’s unparalleled research-based emphasis in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction arms its graduates with the skills to effectively assess policy matters of instructional quality and equity,” Roberson says. “The Curry graduates on the Committee are fortunate to bring this common frame of reference to this important service.”
The Career Path
Roberson retired in 2011 as one of Virginia’s longest serving school superintendents, having served at the helm of Hanover County Public Schools for 16 years and Falls Church City Public Schools prior to that. He then became chairman of the board and president/chief executive officer for Moseley Architects, the position he currently holds.