A-F School Grading Policy

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March 8, 2017

WVEA’s sustained opposition results in end to A-F school grading

WVEA’s lengthy, sustained effort to eliminate the state’s A-F school grading system and revise the statewide summative assessment program has proven successful. Thanks to each of you who voiced your opposition to the programs and helped to influence the decisions!

The state Board of Education decided at its March 8 meeting to waive Policy 2320 for the 2016-2017 school year, which means A-F grades of individual schools will not be released next fall. The waiver will allow the state Department of Education to develop a new school accountability system that meets the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

That follows the board’s decision at its February meeting to waive Smarter Balanced testing in grades 9 and 10 for English/language arts and math and do away with Smarter Balanced across all grades after the spring. In the meantime they will explore other testing options.

This action follows many years and months of opposition to A-F school grading and Smarter Balanced from WVEA and our members.

WVEA was the only statewide organization representing teachers and education employees to speak out publicly and consistently about our opposition to these policies. We strongly believe this opposition helped lead to these positive changes.

WVEA also spoke against a possible move toward end-of-course exams in high school. WVEA argued that no educators had been consulted about the change. The state board stripped end-of-course exam language from proposed policy changes last month.

WVEA has also encouraged the state board and the state superintendent to reconvene a stakeholder committee on assessments to study issues related to testing and come back with a long-term recommendation for statewide assessments.

Hopefully we will finally get an assessment program that works for us and we can stick with it for several years.