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.

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Comments

  • mntnman

    The tail wagging the dog. We've made one test the end all and be all of measuring schools success. Ridiculous. Particularly when the students taking the test have no "skin" in the game. Their test score is irrelevant to their promotion, class rank, graduation, which classes they take (there are a couple exceptions there), where the attend school, their final grades, etc. Until we make the test directly impact students, the scores will not accurately reflect their ability. Far too many just don't care, since it has no real, direct impact on them.

    In any event, making one test the measure of success is short sighted, doesn't measure true learning, doesn't measure real growth, etc. The A-F measure doesn't even assess science or social studies, very important areas of achievement for our society. It is such a shallow, overly simplistic way to measure achievement.

    We are too hung up on standardized testing. We need to focus more on classroom learning and measure success by using multiple tools, more than one test, attendance, classroom grades, graduation, post secondary attendance, parental involvement, portfolios, getting a job after graduation and the true measures of educational success.

    One test does not a success or failure make a student or a school. To assess this way is yet another flawed methodology used try and determine how we're doing in our schools. There is a better way. We need to try and get there and quit worrying so much about one test. After all, I'd say even the smartest and brightest among us have done poorly on one occasion. Should we be measured by that one instance; or should we be measured by the totality of our efforts. Which is the truer measure??

  • Cm

    To reform, we must separate students according to there ability. The gov't thinks every student must be the same, it doesn't matter, we are going to put each student through the same circle (figure of speech), some students fit the triangle better or a square. A teacher with 25 years makes $50K, the plants along the Ohio River makes $120k, but we want all students to college prep. There is something wrong with this thinking. This country needs tech workers, not all college educated people.
    If teachers were given students, who wants to go on to college and students who don't go on to a tech career scores would change immediately. Quote Quote...schools scores would be much much better. Sorry, going on a goose chase.

    • Frank Helvey, Jr.

      Please cite source for the 120k. fh

  • Mason County Contrarian

    A 'C' as an "acceptable" grade? Sounds like meddling politicians have just repaved the highway to mediocrity.

    Anyone knows that in order to get more one should expect more. Isn't that the message behind millions of dollar$ worth of taxpayers monie$ spent by the WVDE at countless teacher workshops?

    Mediocre expectations=mediocre schools=mediocre
    students=mediocre results=........(I think you see where this is going).

    Nothing has changed, in spite all of this "reform". We're once again rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    • joeyjojo

      In any meaningful grading system their has to be a median score. If everyone is getting Bs and As, the grading system is meaningless.

  • I'm honest at least

    I give the state school board an F.

  • Mac

    To get a quick and "unique" profile of Common Core, the following website demonstrates the "Ten Dumbest Common Core Problems." One example involves a third grade question that asks students to match the shaded geometrical figures with their corresponding fractions. Problem was the figures in the drawing were NOT shaded! You've got to see this - to actually believe it!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373840/ten-dumbest-common-core-problems-alec-torres

  • jds

    Based on the article, it is not clear to me just what the C means. Above C is acceptable and D and F will need additional help, but no idea as to the meaning of a C.

    • Tony

      Good catch! Great observation!

  • Gary Karstens

    If we follow the path set by our President Barack Obama in his Common Core standards, then all schools will be above par.

    • Jimbon

      You are delusional. Common core is setting students up to fail. Especially lower grade levels where students are asked to do abstract concepts that they are not developmentally ready for. By the way, the National Governors Association developed common core, absent teacher input.

      • Shawn H

        Bill Gates developed and funded Common Core.

        http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2013/08/05/look-who-funded-and-developed-common-core/

      • The bookman

        And the President of the NGA, Governor Mary Fallin of OK, just rejected the Common Core Standards, returning to the old standards instead. Too much centralized, one size fits all for me. And apparently other states as well.

        • SMG

          Until the problem of poverty is improved there can be no improvement in the education system.

          • Aaron

            If that is the case then how come our greatest economic generation was educated during our worst economic times?

          • Keeping Informed

            I definitely agree with you about the importance of family. Abraham Lincoln came up in very impoverished conditions, but the role of his parents (especially his step-mother Sarah Bush Lincoln) in driving the will to achieve was vital to his success. In truth, Lincoln had very little formal education. No Harvard. No Yale. No SAT or ACT scores. No Common Core scores on record. Overall, Lincoln had about one year of formal schooling total. A far cry short of 180 X 12.

          • Shadow

            I wonder what Abe Lincoln would say about your statement?

          • The bookman

            That's kind of a chicken / egg argument. Does money directly correlate to success in the classroom? Sometimes. Strong families are a much stronger indicator. Put me in the camp of improving education opportunities to directly improve economic opportunity. In today's technologically advanced workplace, an education that provides mastery of basic skills provides a platform for economic opportunity. That is how you impact poverty. Teach a man to fish and he feeds himself.