West Virginia will not have to do what every other state is doing to address struggling schools if the Mountain State is granted a flexibility request when it comes to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

“I really believe that we’re probably within a day or two of getting that signed off and that West Virginia will have its own system,” state Board of Education President Wade Linger said on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline.

The state Board first applied with the U.S. Department of Education for the waiver last September in an attempt to free the state’s public schools from certain federal rules and deadlines under No Child Left Behind.

Revisions have now been made to West Virginia’s Educator Evaluation System and submitted as an answer to federal reviewers who are considering that application.

Approval for the waiver would clear the way for West Virginia to address underperforming schools.

Linger says the federal regulations allow for no gray area, even if schools are showing signs of progress.  “With No Child Left Behind, either you’re a good school or a bad school.  It’s on or off,” he said.

“We’re facing a situation where virtually all of our schools will be labeled as a ‘bad’ school and all the bad things that go along with that.”

Linger says West Virginia’s leaders know what is best for the state’s students and that is the message for federal officials.  “We still want accountability.  We still want to make sure that you guys have a way of measuring the students and the progress and all of that,” he said.

“Every state had the opportunity to go in and make their own plan and convince the feds that we’re not going to do it your way anymore, but we do have a way and it will work.”

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  • GW

    This took all of 2 seconds to find:

    26 States Plus D.C. Apply for NCLB Waivers in Second Round
    By Michele McNeil on February 29, 2012 11:36 AM

    Twenty six more states, plus the District of Columbia, are applying for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act, which would free them from many of the core tenets of the law in exchange for adopting key reforms backed by the Obama administration. Already, 11 states have won this new flexibility.

    Those applying are: Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, along with D.C.

    States seeking flexibility in the second round will be notified later this spring. The U.S. Department of Education expects additional states to request flexibility by Sept. 6 for the third round of review.

    That leaves the following states that have not applied for a waiver: Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii (a troubled Race to the Top state!), Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

    New Hampshire and Maine have already said they need more time to figure out how to make the waiver requirements work in their rural states. Other states, like California, have already made their skepticism very clear.

    Given that the Education Department approved all 11 requests for waivers from the first round, it seems very likely the vast majority of of these requests will be approved at some point. (Although certainly the department will seek changes before doing so.) Many states that have applied in this second round have posted their applications on their individual department websites.

  • JimJim

    Why should WV get a waiver???? Can't they keep up with the other states? Do you really think that the Feds will let WV off the hook??? Should the Feds let them off the hook?

    • GW

      MANY other states have applied for a waiver. This is a flawed article intended to flame WV educators.

  • Joe

    I have made this comment on a previous columns regarding the 30 schools placed on the "priority list", including the brand new, state of the art Mary C. Snow Elementary. Apparently, this new school is to be "corrected" in 3 years according to the statement ny the BOE.

    If the main reason for poor student performance, according to the WVEA and WVAFT, is parents and student accountability, what exactly do the RESA's and BOE consultants expect to improve?!

    Thanks in advance to all for any insight, as I just don't understand the process proposed.


    • GW

      Actually, many other states are doing this. The quality of the reporting on this site is really poor.

      For example, Under NCLB, schools with 90 percent of their students showing MASTERY of WESTEST content could be labeled as failing because their scores are so high that they simply cannot show improvement each year. As of school year 2013-14 ALL WV schools would be labeled as failing because NCLB required 100 percent of students to "pass" the WESTEST. No school that I know of has done this.

      There are something like 26 ways for school to "fail" under NCLB, but only one way for them to pass. There is some leniency in the ways school can pass such as "confidence interval" and "safe harbor", but the limit of this forum is not the place to discuss this.

  • stophating

    Wonder how many more administrators the state dept of education, the WV Board of Education, the RESAs, and local boards will have to employ to administer this initiative? Will probably be necessary to cut a number of teachers so that the top can become more bloated.