By Jean A. Flanagan
The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education released the results of the School Accountability System last week and Hardy County Schools fared pretty well. “I think we did well compared to the rest of the state,” Hardy County Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Dotson said.
The letter grades “A-F” were created to make it easier for parents and the overall community to understand how their schools rate in terms of student achievement.
Each school, and there are 668 in the state, were evaluated on four areas; performance, improvement, persistence and post-secondary readiness. Fourteen accountability measures were assigned a point value – not necessarily 100. Elementary and middle schools were evaluated on a 1,200 point system, while high schools were evaluated on a 1,500 point system. The schools were then categorized in the A – F rankings.
A = Distinctive Performance
B = Commendable Performance
C = Acceptable Performance
D = Unacceptable Performance
F = Lowest Performance
Since this is the first year for this type of evaluation, the state used a Bell curve to establish a baseline and determine the cut scores, or the range of points in each letter grade. So 53.3 percent of the schools statewide fall into the “C” category, while 6.7 percent received an “A,” 24.3 percent received a “B,” 13.5 percent received a “D” and 2.2 percent received an “F.”
Hardy County schools were evaluated as follows:
A = East Hardy High School
B = Moorefield High School
B = East Hardy Early Middle School
C = Moorefield Intermediate School
C = Moorefield Middle School
C = Moorefield Elementary School
It should be noted that Moorefield Elementary School only received a “C” because Moorefield Intermediate School received a “C.” Schools with the K-2 grades are assigned the grade of the school to which the majority of their students feed into as third graders.
“We certainly have some room for improvement,” Dotson said. “We have to do a better job in the lower grades, getting them to grade level. Our goal is to have every student on grade level.”
The state Department of Education has wrestled with finding a system to evaluate schools and has changed methods several times over the past 10 years. Standardized tests have been changes nearly as often, making it difficult to track achievement and improvement and direct resources where they are most needed.
Members of the community can access the entire report at www.mywvschool.org.