West Virginia’s schools will be operating free of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act when the new school year begins in August.
State Board of Education President Wade Linger says the waiver the U.S. Department of Education granted to the Mountain State this week is needed.
“The goals for No Child Left Behind, when you get into the 2013-2014 time frame, they always were unrealistic,” he said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The waiver will let West Virginia evaluate school progress using a wide range of criteria.
A new West Virginia Accountability Index (WVAI) will categorize schools using five rankings: priority, support, focus, transition and success. Help will be provided to struggling priority schools. Already, 32 have been identified.
Up to now with the law, there have been rigid standards for what is considered “adequate yearly progress.” That assessment was based on the results of annual standardized tests.
But Linger says there is more to a school than just test scores.
“If you want to know what kind of school you have, you also have to look at the learning conditions, the curriculum, the culture in the school and so forth and management efficiencies, how well are they doing the finances and the facilities,” Linger said.
West Virginia is one of more than 35 states, to receive a waiver from the requirements of No Child Left Behind since 2011.