CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Results from last year's standardized tests are expected to be released this week, but the way educators analyze the data will be brand new.
Because the U.S. Department of Education granted West Virginia a waiver in May to relieve schools of federal rules associated with No Child Left Behind, the latest results from Westest 2 will now be used to classify schools in one of five new designations.
Before, when the state's educators received the test scores, they were looking for one thing: did the school make Adequate Yearly Progress?
The yes-or-no answer was reflective of the school's achievement and could determine the federal funding a school received under the Bush-era law, which passed more than a decade ago.
This year's test results will say nothing about AYP.
"Parents have been accustomed to seeing that 'yes' or 'no' designation. That's no longer the case. This is a fairer system to schools. This is the first year schools get credit for making progress," said Robert Hull, an associate superintendent at the state Department of Education.
Under its own unique accountably system, the state will identify schools as one of five classifications: priority, support, focus, transition and success.
Also, in an unprecedented move, the Department of Education is offering "growth data," which will show parents and teachers how individual students have developed.
"For the first time, parents will see trajectory information -- where they've been, where they are, what they'll have to make in order to improve for the next year," Hull said. "Not only that, but you'll be able to see if your child continues at the rate they are now -- where they are projected to be next year."
Another important change, Hull said, is that the state's most struggling schools -- those designated as priority or support -- were already labeled as such months ago.
Before, schools wouldn't find out the results until right around the start of the school year, which sometimes caused issues.