Phares said the change will remove "the burden" schools face when they don't meet AYP and instead create "a clear distinction that allows them to receive the right support."
"Schools will have more flexibility in using federal funds for improvement," he said.
The move will also expand the Educator Evaluation System pilot program, which was implemented at select schools last year, to all counties by next school year.
The teacher evaluation system promotes high standards for teachers, provides data that indicates the effectiveness of teachers and offers development for areas of need.
Both teachers and parents will be held accountable for a student's performance, and attendance and graduation rates will be monitored as well, Tomblin said Monday.
"We have got to hold our educators accountable for student achievement while taking into account more than just test scores," Tomblin said. "Teachers, as well as parents, have got to have certain responsibilities to make sure that that student is in school ready to learn each and every day and on time. You can't learn if you're not there. So, this will put more responsibility back on the parents and the teachers."
Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, said he's glad to see a model designed "so that teachers are not the only ones being held accountable."
Bob Brown, of the state's branch of the American Federation of Teachers, said he's relieved to be away from "the cookie cutter mold."
"What works best for West Virginia means that the decisions should be made in West Virginia -- that's the only way that will allow us to achieve," he said.
The waiver will go into effect immediately for the 2013-14 school year.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.