CHARLESTON, W.Va. – No Child Left Behind is history. The West Virginia Department of Education is now using a new assessment system to determine how students are progressing in class. The WESTEST 2 scores were released Wednesday.

State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares said under No Child Left Behind you either met Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) or you didn’t. Under the new system, every public school in the state will be designated under one of five categories: success, transition, focus, support or priority.

“Under this accountability system, schools, school systems and the state will be held accountable based on the growth of every student no matter if it’s in the whole group student population or if it’s in any of the subgroups like students with disabilities or minority students,” Phares said.

Anyone can go to the state’s new website to find out how a particular school is doing when it comes to math and reading proficiency, attendance, how many students meet grade level expectations and how close students are to reaching those expectations. You can link to that website at and click on My School’s Performance.

“This way each school has its own starting point and has its own finishing point and a trajectory of student growth in order to get there by 2020,” according to Phares.

Click on Jayenne Elementary School in Marion County, for example, and you’ll see they are rated as a “success” school. It received a 74.89 total index score out of 100. Compare that to Southside K-8 in McDowell County which is rated as a “priority” school with a total index score of just 21.49.

Phares said improvements will not happen overnight but the index will be especially helpful for teachers.

“They’ll be able to see these reports and see if their students are growing in the areas where they are strong, in the areas where they are weak,” explained Phares. “They can actually hold a level of accountability.”

Phares said that translates into teachers learning where they need to improve and making changes so their students succeed.

According to the latest figures only 49 percent of West Virginia public school students are proficient in reading and the number is even lower for math where only 46 percent of students meet standards.

Phares believes under the new system you’ll see drastically improved numbers by the end of the decade.

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  • Tonya

    I think it is about time this has been put on the table. I know from personal family members that have graduated high school. On a third grade reading level. I sure don't have all the answers. I just know before the no child left behind act,was not a good idea at all. Some children are passed on no matter what and it just puts them behind and makes some have self self esteem problems, that lead to behavior problems. When I was in school , if you did not make the cut. You repeated that grade. It was almost another driving force to make me want to do well. I didn't want to fail, and my friends pass me on. I really hope they have a big bandage for this big boo boo. lol. Thanks for listening.

  • Leo

    This link should take you to where you choose your county.

  • Joe

    @Realist....I know this would be a guesstimate from your own county, but what percentage of students do you feel fall into the category of non parent involvement that affects teaching outcomes?

    • wv mom

      I'm still wondering where the comments/replies are for this question from REALIST. Oh wait.. it doesn't matter. Only kids with brady bunch families succeed.

  • JoeW

    Alright, I tried to find that highly hidden link on the WVDE website. Yeah, the one where I can look at my school's performance. It's another smokescreen cause it is nowhere to be found that I can see. How about a little help?

  • Big Bubba

    Remember, in West Virginia; we don't need no education. Education is for the rest of the nation. All West Virginians need is a four wheeler, a can of snuff and a deer rifle.
    Nuff said.

  • tracyo64

    The link posted in the story does not work. Remove the www. at the beginning.

  • Realist

    This new system is a lot better that "No Child Left Behind," but when are the parents and students going to be held responsible for education along with the teachers. I have spent a lot of time subbing in different schools and the simple fact is a lot of the students are just lazy and their parents don't really care. Yes, there are a lot of parents who are heavily involved in their child's education but the overwhelming majority have no idea what students are doing in school. Education does not stop in the classroom and things will not get better until there is some accountability for the families involved.

    • Leo

      Thank you Realist, finally someone who realizes where the fault lies. It is time to hold the students accountable and stop passing them on when they fail. These parents need to step up and parent for a change. Yes, there are some wonderful students and parents out there, but the majority are just waiting like their parents for the handout that they know is easier to get than an education.

      • Working Parent

        A majority? How about those of us who work two jobs just to make ends meat and put food on the table? I think you as well as many teachers overlook the struggles many of us have with helping our kids study along with pushing them to get their homework done. Just so you know, no handouts here.

  • Greg

    Yeah, must be a horrible teacher to wear something so awful. Surely, dressing up a little more would make a more effective teacher. No Child Left Behind was always a big mess. Pretty much like everything else Bush touched. Hopefully, this new system will be more geared at measuring what needs to be measured and will allow teachers to teach.