CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia school students will no longer be the only ones concerned about receiving poor grades.
Beginning later this year, all public elementary, middle and high schools in West Virginia will be given grades of ‘A’ through ‘F’ with a new policy from the state Board of Education.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin first proposed the policy during his State of the State Address earlier this year.
The grading system is being implemented to give communities a clear idea of just how well a school is doing. The grades will be based solely on student achievement in four areas — student proficiency in English/Language Arts and mathematics, growth in those areas, improvements among the lowest achieving students and, for high schools, graduation rates.
“High performing schools will be recognized. Low performing schools will receive the support and the assistance needed,” said Bob Hull, assistant superintendent in the West Virginia Department of Education’s Division of Education and Learning.
Grades above ‘C’ will be considered acceptable while ‘D’ and ‘F’ grades will flagged for county aid. ‘F’ will mean the students perform at the the lowest proficiency. When schools continue to perform poorly or when the county does not provide needed support, the state will intervene.
The state Department of Education will calculate a school’s rating and then transfer that grade to the West Virginia Office of Education Performance Audits for verification through the accreditation process. After that, the grades will be made public.
“First and foremost, we value all students learning. It’s about every student making good progress and it’s not making just incremental progress, but making significant progress,” Hull said.
State officials have said the ultimate goal of the ‘A’ though ‘F’ system is for every student in West Virginia to perform at or above grade level.