State education officials meet as ESSA deadline looms

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MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - At their meeting in Morgantown Thursday, state Board of Education members decided to push discussion about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to Friday morning.

State education officials have until September 18 to submit their plan to the Department of Education, which is required by federal legislation.

Each state is tasked with creating a plan that to address standards, assessments, accountability, and support for struggling schools.

Under the state's plan, the accountability system has been revamped.

"It will be a multiple-measures dashboard," said Michele Blatt, Assistant State Superintendent for Support and Accountability. "[We'll be] looking at five indicators across all of our schools."

The five criteria proposed are proficiency in English and math through statewide testing, student progression in school, high school graduation rates, English proficiency among non-native speakers, and attendance and behavior.

The five specific criteria will each receive one of four levels classifications.

Blatt says this system has been embraced by parents, teachers, and administration officials, especially in light of the elimination of the heavily criticized system that assigned schools with an A-F grade.

"I think we've learned that there's multiple things that go into making a school successful and when you try to roll it up into one summative rating, that's the only thing people see, and they don't see the things schools are doing well, nor do they see the things that they need assistance in areas they need to focus on," Blatt explained.

Board members are expected to adopt the plan Friday, and then send it to the governor's desk.

To see more from the meeting, you can watch the videos above.