Performance results for West Virginia's public schools will be released this morning at 10 a.m. by the state Department of Education.
The results are culled from the results of standardized tests taken by all West Virginia's students each academic year. This year's data will look different than it has in years past, though: now, West Virginia is using its own state-developed accountability system.
That system was developed as West Virginia applied for a waiver allowing it to ignore much of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. The U.S. Department of Education granted that request in May, accepting instead West Virginia's homegrown alternative.
Under the guidelines, schools are judged based on progress in several areas, instead of a blanket pass or fail - they're also recognized for growth at any level.
That's a departure from the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, which graded schools on whether they attained "adequate yearly progress" toward a proficiency goal. The centerpiece of that law was the idea that all students should be able to score at least "proficient" on state standardized tests by 2014 - a goal that is now largely seen as unfeasible.
That focus on adequate yearly progress, and the severity of the consequences if schools failed to make it, has long been the focus of criticism from the law's detractors.
West Virginia's new accountability system, in contrast, judges schools on a variety of factors and recognizes growth over several years, even if schools aren't meeting proficiency benchmarks. It also looks at the disparity between subgroups of students - such as differences in the performance of poor students and their peers that come from a more favorable socioeconomic background.
Officials are touting it as a more comprehensive and transparent way to examine West Virginia's education system.
Parents and community members will be able to parse the data on the state Department of Education's website. That site will be available at 10 a.m. today at http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/performance/.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.