The Commonwealth of Virginia, for better and worse, has been slow to adopt charter schools and a variety of other education policies common in other states, says Rachel Levy, Virginia resident, teacher, activist, and “All Things Education” blogger. Levy joined the Education Town Hall on February 11 to discuss the status of education and reform efforts in the Commonwealth. Conversation with Levy — who joined the show remotely from the hallways of the Virginia House of Delegates — included the pending “Virginia Charter School Bill,” parental involvement, teacher preparation and related topics. Listen to full discussion below —
Education Town Hall, 2/11/16. Segment begins at 35:30
Rachel Anne Levy lives in Ashland, Virginia, with her husband and three children. She was born in Washington, DC, and is a proud graduate of DC Public Schools. She got her BA from Wesleyan University in 1995 and her master’s degree in education with certification in secondary social studies and pk-12 ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) from The George Washington University in 1999.
She has taught at a private Quaker school in Brooklyn, New York, in DC Public schools, in Albemarle County Public Schools, as an educator in Head Start classrooms for CYFS (Charlottesville Youth and Family Services), in evening classes for adults, and at a private preschool.
As a writer, she started her own education blog, All Things Education, in 2009. Her education writing and commentary has been featured in Blue Virginia, The Core Knowledge Blog, Joanne Jacobs’ Linking and thinking on education, So Educated, the Virginia Education Report, Education Week’s “Teacher in a Strange Land,” on TeachHub.com, The Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet,” Truthout, and on Diane Ravitch’s blog.
As a local activist and community leader, she has served on the boards of her children’s schools PTAs, and is currently president of the PTA at her daughter’s school. She also served on the board of a local education advocacy group called Friends of Hanover Schools. For this work, in 2015, Rachel was named in Richmond Magazine’s Sourcebook as one of six “Vox Populi: Personalities not afraid to speak up—and act out—for local causes they believe in.”
In the fall of 2014, Rachel was thrilled to become a full-time PhD student and part-time graduate assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School Of Education in Richmond. She is studying in the educational leadership and policy track. Her research interests include politics of education, school finance, school governance, education policy, and literacy.