State school board approves revised A-F policy
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail
Against opposition from teachers unions and school administrator groups, the West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday approved a revised policy that will give entire schools A-F grades based largely on their students’ scores — and growth in scores — on the statewide Smarter Balanced standardized tests.
No nays were heard in the voice vote, for which Gayle Manchin was the only board member absent. Manchin’s term expired in November and she’s asked Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to replace her, but he has yet to do so.
Board President Mike Green said the A-F system is not intended to be punitive but rather is meant to be a method to get the attention of low-performing schools and improve them.
The board approved the policy to move toward an A-F system in 2014, but it delayed actually assigning the labels, education officials said, to base them on two consecutive school years of Smarter Balanced tests, which were first given statewide last spring and were given again this school year.