Education

State Journal

November 12, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Everyone’s a Winner

The West Virginia Department of Education is handing out awards to low-performing schools that apparently need a morale boost after falling short of federal standards under the No Child Left Behind Act.

The department is also recognizing schools that are doing well under the federal law’s requirement that schools make “adequate yearly progress.” But the awards boom has some critics saying the recognition is meaningless and costs money that should go toward fixing the schools that need help.

In all, the department will distribute framed certificates to 84 percent of the state’s 728 public schools. In West Virginia, 433 schools made adequate yearly progress last school year, and 295 did not.

In the “West Virginia Achieves Recognition Tour,” state board of education members or other officials are traveling to all counties in the state to hand out the certificates.

Besides the awards for schools that made adequate progress, others are going to schools that demonstrated “high” or “notable” improvement in scores in a subgroup of students, said Liza Cordeiro, a spokeswoman for the state department of education. Subgroups include students in special education, minority students, students from low-income families, and English-language learners.

“With NCLB we pointed out what was wrong with schools,” Ms. Cordeiro said. “We want to make sure they know they are doing a good job. We believe success breeds success.”

But others disagreed. Pete Thaw, a member of the Kanawha County school board thinks the resources are being misdirected.

“I think giving out these awards to critically deficient schools is ridiculous,” Mr. Thaw said. “It’s a feel-good award. It means nothing.”

The certificates cost a total of about $9,000. But there were also travel costs for state board members to distribute the awards, Mr. Thaw said.

“How about putting the money into schools, hiring teacher’s aides?” he said. “Our job isn’t to make educators feel good, it’s to educate students.”

Ms. Cordeiro said the cost of the certificates amounted to $12 a school.

“We hear those criticisms, but we are not stopping,” she said. “Our schools are well worth $12 for a certificate. We should recognize them for doing so well. It’s looking at the positive, instead of just looking at the negative.”

—Lisa Goldstein

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read