West Virginia Flexibility Request Focuses on Student Growth and Teacher Quality

September 06, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Flexibility Request has been signed, sealed and delivered.  Under the leadership of the West Virginia Board of Education, and after consultation with a broad group of stakeholders, including educators, legislative leaders and the governor, the WVDE on Thursday submitted a flexibility request of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

“The NCLB Flexibility Request has taken months of tireless work by countless education experts,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “Today is the payoff. We believe we have developed a system which will improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction.”

If approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the request will provide West Virginia with the flexibility needed as it continues to implement the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, expand the Teacher Evaluation Pilot and establish a high-quality accountability system that values individual student academic growth and supports schools.

“This is an exciting time for education in our state,” said West Virginia Associate Superintendent of Schools Robert Hull. “We are transitioning from educating all students to educating each student. The Flexibility Request proposes an accountability system that weighs multiply items such as individual student growth, gaps between student sub groups, and the quality of instruction.”

The NCLB Flexibility Request focuses on three principals:

Principle 1: College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students

Principle 2: State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support

Principle 3: Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership

The request still holds schools accountable for student achievement results but shifts from a large number of schools not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress to a smaller number of schools flagged for targeted support.  The request also has a stronger focus on Local Education Agency responsibility for school improvement and a shift in the teacher evaluation system from “teacher meets standard” to promoting continuous professional growth.

As part of the new West Virginia Accountability Index (WVAI) proposed in the Flexibility Request, schools will fall into four rankings: highly effective; effective; need improvement; and targeted for support. Schools identified for targeted support will receive resources and support from various entities, districts, RESAs, WVDE and others as appropriate.

To view the full NCLB Flexibility Request, visit https://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/esea.html or contact the WVDE Communication Office at (304) 558-2699.


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