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Schools across Boone County get snapshot of student growth

Fred Pace fpace@civitasmedia.com

September 9, 2013

MADISON — Boone County schools and students are learning the ABCs of the state’s new accountability system as student performance results were unveiled.


The new accountability system is the result of West Virginia receiving flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act from the U.S. Department of Education. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) no longer exists.


“We are very proud of the efforts of all staff in all of our schools. This new accountability measure provides schools with a clearer picture of individual student growth, thereby increasing each school’s capacity to support students throughout their education. The result being students who graduate from high school are better prepared for college or a career,” said Boone County Superintendent John Hudson.


“The release of this data is important for our students, teachers and schools,” said state Superintendent of Schools James Phares. “This year’s results include a mixture of positive results as well as several areas that must be improved. Most importantly, we know our teachers and students should be applauded for their hard work and efforts because even though the statewide assessment became more intense in 2010, the majority of our students continued to show growth.”


As part of the West Virginia Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver, the state is using its own accountability system created by West Virginia education experts for West Virginia students. This accountability system more effectively identifies struggling schools, provides individual student growth data, better directs resources to struggling schools and recognizes schools that are doing well.


Under the new accountability system, Boone County schools and students receive a score for factors such as whether students are meeting grade level expectations, how much a school has closed its achievement gap between groups of students, and how much students are improving academically no matter their current level of performance. The different pieces of data lay the foundation for the West Virginia accountability system.


The new accountability system also designates every school as a Success, Transition, Focus, Support or Priority school. The My School Performance website is a quick and easy way for schools, teachers, parents and students to review specific school data: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/performance/


Of Boone County schools, 5 schools met both student performance and growth expectations and earned a Success designation. Another 7 county schools earned a Transition designation because they showed some progress in meeting either student proficiency or student growth goals.


“The data clearly show that although our educators are working very hard, there is still much to be accomplished,” said Gayle Manchin, West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) president. “The WVBE will not be satisfied until every student is proficient, attending school regularly and graduating from high school ready for college or a career. We will continue to support our educators in making this happen. We hope families and communities will continue to do the same.”


“It is important for our schools to understand that the new accountability system is not about comparing one school to another,” added Phares. “The system is about keeping your eye on the finishing line despite where a student starts and moving that individual student forward to proficiency.”


Teams from the WVDE and Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) will continue to work with Boone County schools to provide support and student achievement strategies as principals and teachers develop targeted improvement plans for students. In addition, Boone County and the WVDE will work together to identify how resources can be reallocated to areas of need.


In addition, the WVBE and the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) have been working for the last year to create a unified accountability and accreditation system. The WVBE believes when fully implemented these two systems can work in concert to leverage improved student performance and to improve the quality of school operations and learning conditions. The board also believes that by unifying these systems, it can create a viable reporting process wherein the public can evaluate the total quality of their schools.


The new expanded accreditation system looks at the total operation of each school in West Virginia and issues an accurate rating on both student performance and the overall quality of the school. The new system will be linked to school improvement with each school being expected to do a self-study of (1) student performance, (2) operations and (3) conditions and to complete a strategic plan.


Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, all West Virginia schools will undergo a rigorous on-site review. The reviews will examine student performance, organizational management/efficiency and the quality of learning conditions. These areas will determine a school’s composite accreditation rating.


For more information contact Assistant Superintendent Lisa Beck in the Central Office at 304-369-3131 or visit the www.boonecountyboe.org and click on “Accountability.”


Additional resources:


ESEA Parent Information: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/esea_flexwaiver_brochure.pdf


ESEA FAQ: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/esea_faqs.pdf


ESEA Principal/Teacher Information: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/support/


My School Performance: (http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/performance/)