CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The West Virginia Board of Education is seeking public input on an update to state policy that changes criteria for school accreditation. State Board Policy 2320: A Process for Improving Education: Performance Based Accreditation System will be out on public comment until Oct. 22.
The revisions are being proposed to incorporate Senate Bill 657 and include audits of the eight Regional Education Service Agencies across the state. The new criteria for accreditation status create an index system to measure schools for state accreditation of schools. Such a point system is designed to prevent any one measure from causing a school to achieve less than full accreditation status.
The policy changes also add 21st century skills into the standards as well as a new distinction accreditation status. It also renames seriously impaired status to low performing accreditation status and changes the name of the unified improvement plan to electronic strategic improvement plan. An appeal process for onsite review findings also is included.
“Under this system other factors will be weighed for accreditation, and schools will not be solely judged on one area,” said Kenna Seal, director of the Office of Education Performance Audits. “Schools not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will have opportunities to achieve full accreditation status by showing high performance on a variety of measures.”
Board President Delores W. Cook said the changes take accountability to a new level by giving schools options.
“It creates a system that considers other important data beyond the federal No Child Left Behind requirements,” Cook said. “The addition of 21st century skills also is important if we are to insure that our children are prepared for the global economy.”
Educators, parents and others are encouraged to review the document and make suggestions. The policy revisions can be found by logging onto http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.