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Justice set to sign Every Student Succeeds Act plan

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Justice set to sign Every Student Succeeds Act plan
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice could sign-off on the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as early as Monday following passage of the plan back on Friday by the state Board of Education.

Under the federally mandated ESSA program, every state must outline the foundational pieces of its public education system, said state Department of Education spokeswoman Kristin Anderson.

“Those are the academic standards, the statewide assessment, the accountability system and a big piece of it is support for struggling schools,” Anderson said.

The state school board hasn’t yet released the specific details of the plan. It plans do so not long after the governor signs it. The plan will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 18.

We do have a few ideas of what the plan includes. The state will no longer have an A-F grading system for individual schools, Anderson said.

“There will not be a summative rating but instead it will be a balanced scorecard that shows both the areas of strength (for a particular school) and the areas that need improved,” she said.

The testing or assessment part of the program will no longer be the Smarter Balanced assessment but instead vendors will be announced later this week who will implement a new testing program, Anderson said.

The state’s plan has been tweaked over the last few months following a number of meetings with stakeholders and comments given by residents at a series of public hearings.

One of ESSA’s hallmarks is the flexibility it will be provide to West Virginia and other states, Anderson said.