The Virginia Department of Education is responsible for elementary and secondary level education throughout the State. It is based out of Richmond, in the James Monroe Building. The highest post in the VA Department of Education is that of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. As of 2010, this post was being filled by Dr. Patricia I. Wright. According to its website, the Virginia Department of Education is dedicated to running the State public educational system so as to provide for the grounding of students in the knowledge necessary to become “capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens.”
The overall administration of the Virginia Department of Education is carried out through the Board of Education, for which Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Patricia I. Wright serves as Secretary. There are nine positions in all on the Virginia Board of Education, which are held for a term of of four years. The VA Department of Education holds responsibility for determining both the course of administration of policy for the overall public school system of the State, as well as the determination of the curriculum which is taught to students enrolled in this system.
In addition, the passage of the Federal No Child Left Behind package of legislation with respect to public education and performance levels imposed the responsibility to the VA Department of Education to carry out this program. The Virginia Department of Education also carries out testing on its own behalf to determine compliance with State-set standards.