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WVDE’s ESSA plan out on public comment

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WVDE’s ESSA plan out on public comment

The state Department of Education’s proposed plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act is now on public comment for 30 days.

You can comment on the proposal here and also see the state’s plan.

The state’s plan reflects the move away from “A to F” school grading. Instead, a school’s performance would be gauged based on a “balanced scorecard” approach.

Schools would be measured for student proficiency in English and math based on the statewide summative assessment; student progress using Lexile and Quantile progress for elementary and middle schools and other college and career-ready indicators in high school* (see below); graduation rates; English language proficiency; and attendance and behavior at the schools.

In each of those indicators, schools would be awarded “distinguished,” “accomplished,” “emerging,” or “unsatisfactory” marks.

WVDE notes that parents, community members and other stakeholders will be able to review school performance more comprehensively rather than “be focused on a summative (A to F) rating that does not provide a full picture of school performance.”

(WVEA consistently argued against A-F school grading before the state Board of Education reversed course on the policy during the past school year.)

With ESSA, states must also describe how they will support and help improve schools that underperform.

In addition to the balanced scorecard approach to school accountability and school support efforts, the three other major components the state must address in its ESSA plan are:

  • Academic standards and assessments. States must describe challenging academic standards and assessments that are consistent with the regulations in ESSA.
     
  • Support for excellent educators. States must describe their strategies for recruiting and retaining highly effective educators, providing supports to improve educator effectiveness and assuring that all students have access to highly effective teachers.
     
  • Support for all students, as each state must describe how it will ensure that all students receive a fair, equitable and high-quality education with a focus on specific subgroup interventions. 

The WVDE will submit its plan to the federal government in mid-September.

*The proposed high school indicators are: six earned credits each in ninth and 10th grades, including at least one credit each year in English, math, science and social studies. The 12th-grade cohort outcomes that schools will be graded on include seniors’ success on state-approved CTE program completers, dual credit or college credit, and AP, IB or advanced career courses.