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7/6/12

Virginia schools waived from No Child Left Behind benchmarks | LoudounTimes.com

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VirginiaschoolswaivedfromNoChildLeftBehindbenchmarks
Friday,Jun.29,2012byLauraPeters,TimesMirrorStaffWriter|0comments|Emailthisstory

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VirginiaschoolsandschooldivisionswillnolongerhavetomeettheNoChildLeftBehind benchmarks,accordingtoSuperintendentofPublicInstructionPatriciaWright. Thebenchmarksthathavebeenwaivedincludereading,mathematicsandthefederallawthat mandatesallstudentstoachievegradelevelproficiencyby2014. TheVirginiaStateBoardofEducationsapplicationforawaiverforcertainprovisionsunderNo ChildLeftBehindwasapprovedbyU.S.SecretaryofEducationArneDuncanJune29. Virginiaschoolsandschooldivisionscannowfocustheirenergyandresourceson implementingthestateBoardofEducationsrigorousnewcontentstandardsandassessments withoutcontendingwithoutdatedandoftencounterproductivefederalrequirementsand rules,Wrightsaidinarelease.Thecommonwealthwillcontinuetoholdschoolsaccountable forclosingachievementgapsbutschoolswontbesubjecttoasystemofincreasinglyunrealistic annualobjectives. ThewaiverallowsthestateBoardofEducationtoestablishgoalsforincreasingstudent achievementandtheachievementofstudentsindemographicsubgroups.Thewaiveralsosets upannualbenchmarkswiththegoalofreducingthefailurerateinreadingandmathematicsby 50percentwithinsixyears.AccordingtoNoChildLeftBehind,passedin2001,itrequiresall students,regardlessofcircumstance,disabilityorachievementlevel,todemonstrategradelevel proficiencyinreadingandmathematicsby2014. VirginiaschoolswillnolongerreceiveannualAdequateYearlyProgressratings,therelease said.Withthenewlyapprovedwaiver,informationofschoolsmeetingornotmeetingthenew benchmarkswillnowbereportedseparatelyinAugust.TheVirginiaDepartmentofEducation willreportonlowperformingschoolsandidentifythemaspriorityandfocusschools,the releasesaid.Theywillalsorecognizehighperformingschoolsasrewardschools. ThisnewfederalaccountabilitymodelismorecomplicatedthantheBoardofEducation believesisnecessary,butitisdefinitelyastepintherightdirection,VirginiaBoardofEducation PresidentDavidM.Fostersaidinarelease.Lookingahead,itismyhopethatCongresswillat lastreviseNCLBandallowVirginiatoattackachievementgapswithinthecontextoftheSOL program,freefromunwarrantedandintrusivefederalrules. AccordingtotheVirginiaBoardofEducation,priorityschoolswillbeidentifiedbasedonoverall studentachievement,whichincludesgraduationratesinhighschools. Bothpriorityandfocusschoolswillbesubjecttostateapprovedandmonitoredschool improvementinterventions,theboardsays.Priorityschoolswillhavetohaveastateapproved turnaroundpartnertohelptheschoolmeetstateandfederalrequirements.Whilefocus schoolswillhavetoemployastateapprovedcoachtohelpdevelop,implementandmonitor strategiestoimprovestudentperformance,theboardstatedinarelease. Thewaiveralsorequireseachschooldivisiontoimplementtheperformanceandevaluation standardsforteachersandprincipalsthatwereapprovedbytheBoardofEducationlastyear. Accordingtothestandard,40percentofateacherofprincipalevaluationistobebasedon studentacademicprogress.Theboardalsosaidschoolsthatareunpreparedtoimplementthe newperformancestandardsforthe20122013schoolyearmuchhaveacorrectiveplanstating howtheywillbeimplementedinthe20132014schoolyear.

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