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Schools Across West Virginia Get a Snapshot of Student Growth as Part of State's New Accountability System

September 04, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia schools and students are learning the ABCs of the state's new accountability system today as student performance results were unveiled. The new accountability system is the result of West Virginia receiving flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act from the U.S. Department of Education. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) no longer exists.

"The release of this data is important for our students, teachers and schools," said state Superintendent of Schools James Phares. "This year's results include a mixture of positive results as well as several areas that must be improved. Most importantly, we know our teachers and students should be applauded for their hard work and efforts because even though the statewide assessment became more intense in 2010, the majority of our students continued to show growth."

As part of the West Virginia Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver, the state is using its own accountability system created by West Virginia education experts for West Virginia students. This accountability system more effectively identifies struggling schools, provides individual student growth data, better directs resources to struggling schools and recognizes schools that are doing well.

Under the new accountability system, schools and students receive a score for factors such as whether students are meeting grade level expectations, how much a school has closed its achievement gap between groups of students, and how much students are improving academically no matter their current level of performance. The different pieces of data lay the foundation for the West Virginia accountability system.

The new accountability system also designates every school as a Success, Transition, Focus, Support or Priority school. The My School Performance website is a quick and easy way for schools, teachers, parents and students to review specific school data: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/performance/

Of 652 schools, just over 28 percent (184 schools) met both student performance and growth expectations and earned a Success designation. Another 39 percent of schools (251 schools) earned a Transition designation because they showed some progress in meeting either student proficiency or student growth goals.

Other accountability highlights include:

  1. Five-year student proficiency trends indicate that students at all grade levels showed improvements in math, RLA, science and social studies on the WESTEST 2.
  2. Each year approximately 182 thousand students take the WESTEST 2. Approximately 133 thousand students are accountable under the ESEA Waiver. Of those students, 46 percent were proficient in math and 49 were proficient in reading.
  3. Of the students who met the proficiency levels for math and reading, a large percentage are slated to continue to grow or exceed expectations in the future. That percentage will increase as teachers target the students who met proficiency in 2013 but showed downward learning trends.

Areas for improvement include:

  1. From 2012 to 2013, the number of students who met the proficiency mark on the WESTEST 2 has decreased.
  2. Data indicate that West Virginia students are not closing the gap fast enough to meet national expectations.
  3. Of the students who did not meet proficiency rates in math, 73 percent showed no academic improvement. Of the students who did not meet proficiency rates in reading, 68 percent showed no academic improvement.

"The data clearly show that although our educators are working very hard, there is still much to be accomplished," said Gayle Manchin, West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) president. "The WVBE will not be satisfied until every student is proficient, attending school regularly and graduating from high school ready for college or a career. We will continue to support our educators in making this happen. We hope families and communities will continue to do the same."

"It is important for our schools to understand that the new accountability system is not about comparing one school to another," added Phares. "The system is about keeping your eye on the finishing line despite where a student starts and moving that individual student forward to proficiency."

Teams from the WVDE and Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) will continue to work with schools to provide support and student achievement strategies as principals and teachers develop targeted improvement plans for students. In addition, the WVDE will reach out to school system leaders help identify how resources can be reallocated to areas of need.

In addition, the WVBE and the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) have been working for the last year to create a unified accountability and accreditation system. The WVBE believes when fully implemented these two systems can work in concert to leverage improved student performance and to improve the quality of school operations and learning conditions. The board also believes that by unifying these systems, it can create a viable reporting process wherein the public can evaluate the total quality of their schools.

The new expanded accreditation system looks at the total operation of each school in West Virginia and issues an accurate rating on both student performance and the overall quality of the school. The new system will be linked to school improvement with each school being expected to do a self-study of (1) student performance, (2) operations and (3) conditions and to complete a strategic plan.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, all West Virginia schools will undergo a rigorous on-site review. The reviews will examine student performance, organizational management/efficiency and the quality of learning conditions. These areas will determine a school's composite accreditation rating.

For more information contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699 or lcordeir@access.k12.wv.us.


WHAT THE 2013 STATEWIDE DATA TELL US:

The new accountability system uses student proficiency data from the WESTEST 2 and student growth data to determine school designations.

SCHOOL DESIGNATIONS

West Virginia has a new accountability system that categorizes schools according to academic progress. A school will be designated as a Success, a Transition, a Focus, a Support or a Priority school.

Success 184
Transition 251
Focus 97
Support 89
Priority 31
  • The good news is that 435 (Success and Transition) of our schools are showing improvements in either one or both academic proficiency and student growth.
  • Priority schools are determined over sub-par performance trends for the last three years. Focus schools are determined by achievement gaps between a sub group 2012 performance and the overall student group performance in a school for this school year.

STUDENT PROFICIENCY DATA

  • Each year approximately 182 thousand students take the WESTEST 2.
  • Approximately 133 thousand students (grades 3 – 8 and 11) are accountable. Of those students, 46 percent were proficient in math and 49 were proficient in reading
STUDENT GROUP MATH
PROFICIENCY
ALL 46%
African American 33%
Low SES 39%
Special Education 20%
STUDENT GROUP READING
PROFICIENCY
ALL 49%
African American 39%
Low SES 41%
Special Education 17%

STUDENT GROWTH DATA

Of the 182 thousand students who take the WESTEST 2, the state has math and reading student growth information on 130 thousand students in grades 4-10.

MATH

Of the 47 percent of students that reached the proficiency level in math:

  • 64 percent are keeping up with growth expectations
  • 36 percent are not keeping up with growth expectations

Of the 53 percent of students who did NOT meet the proficiency level in math:

  • 27 percent are catching up to their peers' growth levels
  • 73 percent are not catching to their peers' growth levels

READING

Of the 50 percent of students that reached the proficiency level in reading:

  • 70 percent are keeping up with growth expectations
  • 30 percent are not keeping up with growth expectations

Of the 50 percent of students who did NOT meet the proficiency level in reading:

  • 32 percent are catching up to their peers’ growth levels
  • 68 percent are not catching up to their peers’ growth levels

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