SD10 - Approval of Student Growth Indicators and Their Uses (Chapter 640, Chapter 672, and Chapter 692, 2013 Acts of Assembly)

Executive Summary:
This Report is being submitted in fulfillment of the reporting mandates for Chapter 640 of the 2013 Acts of Assembly ( , Chapter 672 of the 2013 Acts of Assembly ( , and Chapter 692 ( by the Department of Education.

The Virginia School Grading System will assign a letter grade, A-F, to Virginia public schools that are part of the state accreditation system. The individual school grade will accompany the state accreditation and federal accountability ratings, both of which identify schools that need extra support to meet minimum proficiency standards in English (reading and writing), mathematics, science, and history and social science. The Virginia School Grading System incorporates legislative requirements into the A-F grading scale by combining three primary focus areas that are important for students’ long-term school and life success:

1. Proficiency of a school’s students in core content areas of mathematics, English (reading and writing), science, and history and social science as measured by passing rates on statewide assessments

2. Growth or learning gains of an elementary or middle school’s students in reading and mathematics as measured by year-to-year (“growth”) on state assessments

3. College and career readiness of a high school’s students as measured by indicators that students have graduated with college and career ready credentials, or are progressing on a pathway to graduating from high school prepared for college and careers

The Virginia School Grading System also gives schools an opportunity to earn bonus points before the final grade is assigned. The Bonus Points recognize school efforts to move students beyond proficiency—to achieve more advanced levels of proficiency—and to decrease the achievement gaps among groups of students through meeting all federal annual measurable objectives.

Schools’ letter grades are based primarily on the total number of points earned in the three focus areas. To calculate school totals, the Board will assign points to multiple measures within each focus area. In elementary and middle schools, proficiency outcomes represent half of a school’s grade. The remaining half of the grade is based on growth for all students and growth for at-risk students. In high schools, proficiency accounts for one-third (33%) of the final grade. The remainder of the grade is based on students’ achievement of or progress in meeting college and career ready indicators. These indicators are diverse and represent the variety of pathways students take during high school in preparation for additional postsecondary education and careers. Before issuing a final grade, the decision rules adopted by the Board that place limits on grades schools can earn if they have not met state and federal accountability requirements will be applied.

The Virginia Department of Education will calculate total points and assign school grades based on the grading formula adopted by the Board of Education.