Virginia Weighs Wider Index to Certify Schools

Chris Jenkins:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is reviewing a plan that would require all Virginia high schools to meet certain graduation-rate requirements by 2014 to receive accreditation under a new assessment system.
Under the proposal, state officials would use a computer system to track students throughout their academic careers to determine the number of diplomas, GEDs and other certificates that schools award during any given year. Schools would receive accreditation based on those results. Current accreditation standards are based on pass rates on the annual Standards of Learning exams.
As part of the accreditation process, schools would be rated on a points system. For instance, schools would be awarded 100 points for each student who received a diploma; the school would earn 75 points if a student received a general equivalency diploma. If a student earned a certificate of completion, given to those who don’t earn high-school diplomas or their equivalent, the school would receive 60 points.