"In the past you could have a school that was not doing well and another school that was not doing well but was getting better and there was no distinction," said Amelia Courts, an assistant state superintendent who worked on developing the waiver request.
"Now in terms of what schools get credit for, they're actually given credit for growth, for getting better. And that makes it more transparent ... a school that is just coasting along isn't treated the same as one that is improving," Courts said.
And instead of being evaluated with a blanket term - adequate yearly progress - schools will be judged on several factors: achievement, growth, the gap between subgroups of students and the general student population, and either attendance or dropout rate.
Officials hope the result will more accurately describe the performance of school systems and individual schools, letting the state identify the schools that need the most help and funnel money to them.
"It does a better job of describing or giving schools a designation that matches their performance," Courts said.
State Superintendent Jim Phares said Monday the state already has identified 32 low-performing schools under the new guidelines. Those schools should be announced later this week.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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