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Schools will be assigned letter grades

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The Virginia Board of Education will assign A-F letter grades to schools based on the performance of their students.

Initial letter grades will be announced at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year and will accompany school accreditation ratings.

The grades will be based on the percentage of students at each school demonstrating proficiency, academic growth and college and career readiness.

“The new grading system will better enable us to track school performance and improve education for all Virginia students by utilizing an easy to understand and familiar format,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

Under the system adopted by the board of education, 50 percent of the grade of an elementary or middle school will be based on overall proficiency in English, mathematics, science and history/social science; 25 percent on overall growth in English and mathematics; and 25 percent on growth in English and mathematics among the school’s lowest-performing students.

Elementary and middle schools also can earn a capped number of bonus points based on the percentage of students earning advanced scores on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in the four core content areas and for meeting all federal accountability benchmarks.

For high schools, 33 percent of the grade will be based on overall proficiency in English, mathematics, science and history/social science; 25 percent will be based on indicators of college and career readiness, such as graduation rates, college credits earned and completion of advanced career and technical education (CTE) programs; eight percent will be based on participation in dual-credit courses and board-approved CTE assessments; 17 percent will be based on growth toward college and career readiness; and 17 percent will be based on growth toward college and career readiness among students at risk of not graduating.

High schools also can earn a capped number of bonus points based on advanced performance on SOL assessments and for meeting all federal accountability goals.


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