Decision Letter on Request to Amend West Virginia Accountability Plan

Dr. Steve Paine
State Superintendent of Schools
West Virginia Department of Education
Building 6, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0330

Dear Superintendent Paine:

I am writing in response to West Virginia’s request to amend its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, the changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that West Virginia submitted to the Department on January 30, 2006. A summary of the changes is attached to this letter. West Virginia’s amended plan is fully approved and will be posted on the Department’s website.

I want to take this opportunity to comment on the path West Virginia has established for ensuring all its students become proficient by 2013-14. The Department has approved a similar model in other States, and it is legally acceptable. However, if we, as a nation, are going to stay true to the mission of NCLB for each and every student, we must become more aggressive in setting our proficiency targets and not delay significant accountability for achievement until several years in the future. I want to thank you for what you have done in the previous few years to implement this important law but also encourage you to consider more aggressive goals. We have learned that when we raise our expectations, our students rise to the challenge. If, over time, West Virginia makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, West Virginia must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please also be aware that approval of West Virginia’s accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved above, does not indicate that the plan complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

I am confident that West Virginia will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If I can be of any additional assistance to West Virginia in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.


Henry L. Johnson

cc: Joe Manchin III

Amendments to the West Virginia Accountability Plan

This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the West Virginia accountability plan on the Department’s website:

What are the State’s annual measurable objectives for determining adequate yearly progress? (Element 3.2b)

Revision: West Virginia has identified annual measurable objectives that identify for each year a minimum percentage of students who must meet or exceed the proficient level of academic achievement on the State’s academic assessments.

The State’s annual measurable objectives ensure that all students meet or exceed the State’s proficient level of academic achievement by 2013-14. The annual measurable objectives are the same throughout the state for each public school, each LEA and each subgroup of students. Annual measurable objectives were set for elementary, middle and high school reading and mathematics. The first new goal in 2004-05 was based on the average of scores from the 2003-04 and 2004-05 administration. The first increase takes place in 2006-07.

Year Elem-
Middle School
High School
Middle School
High School
2005 72.00 75.00 71.00 67.00 64.00 59.00
2006 72.00 75.00 71.00 67.00 64.00 59.00
2007 76.67 79.17 75.83 72.50 70.00 65.83
2008 76.67 79.17 75.83 72.50 70.00 65.83
2009 76.67 79.17 75.83 72.50 70.00 65.83
2010 81.33 83.33 80.67 78.00 76.00 72.67
2011 86.00 87.50 85.50 83.50 82.00 79.50
2012 90.67 91.67 90.33 89.00 88.00 86.33
2013 95.34 95.84 95.16 94.50 94.00 93.17
2014 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

What are the State’s intermediate goals for determining adequate yearly progress? (Element 3.2c)

Revision: West Virginia has identified intermediate goals consistent with the identified annual measurable objectives and the State’s definition of adequate yearly progress.


Grade Span Starting Point Intermediate Goals for six incremental increases in years 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Reading Elementary 72 4.667
Reading Middle School 75 4.167
Reading High School 71 4.833
Mathematics Elementary 67 5.500
Mathematics Middle School 64 6.000
Mathematics High School 59 6.833

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans