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WVBE Sets Cut Scores for A-F Accountability System

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October 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) Wednesday approved cut scores for the West Virginia School Accountability System. Cut scores were set at each programmatic level to define the points needed to earn each letter grade (A-F) within the system.

“Cut scores represent the range of points needed to earn each respective letter grade and designate where each letter grade ends and the next letter grade begins,” said Lloyd Jackson, WVBE Vice President.

Cut scores were defined at each programmatic level, elementary, middle school and high school, by the WVBE using a normal bell curve to establish a baseline during the first year of assigning grades. Cut scores will remain constant thereafter for a number of years so schools will know their targets for grade improvement.

“For the foreseeable future, the cut scores will not change,” Jackson said. “We want our schools to know their target for improvement. Nothing would make our Board happier than for no schools to earn a D or an F, and under this system, it is a possibility.”

Cut scores were determined for each programmatic level separately. Total points were derived by summing the points earned on each measure and schools were ranked from the highest total points earned to the lowest. Stanines were calculated which represent nine equally spaced intervals across the full distribution of total points earned by all schools. The school with the highest number of points within a grade band set the top cut score for that letter grade. For the A letter-grade, the top cut is the highest number of points possible: 1,200 points for elementary and middle schools and 1,500 points for high schools.

Policy 2320, A Process for Improving Education: Performance Based Accreditation System, assigns all public schools a grade of A through F based on multiple measures of student and school performance. The system is designed to be transparent and provide data while using language that can be easily understood by parents and the community. Schools will be held accountable for what is considered their core mission – increasing student achievement. All public schools throughout West Virginia will receive a letter grade for the first time in November 2016.

Cut scores for each programmatic level can be found by visiting: http://static.k12.wv.us/a-f/a-f_cutscores.pdf

For additional information, visit www.mywvschool.org or contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.

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