68% of Va. Schools Meet New Benchmark

(AP) - Virginia education officials say 68 percent of the state's public schools met new annual benchmarks in reading, mathematics and graduation.

The state Department of Education on Wednesday released results of the objectives aimed at reducing proficiency gaps between low-performing and high-performing schools.

The annual measurable objectives replace the adequate yearly progress targets of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In June, the state received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for certain provisions of the federal law. The numbers are based on the performance on state standardized tests.

Based on the new "ambitious but achievable" benchmarks, education officials are directing 485 schools to develop and implement improvement plans to raise achievement levels for certain races and other subgroups such as economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

Locally, Carysbrook Elementary, Central Elementary, Columbia Elementary and Cunningham Elementary in Fluvanna County; Greene County Primary and Nathanael Greene Elementary in Greene County;
and Moss-Nuckols Elementary in Louisa County were placed on the "Focus Schools" list. That means the schools must employ a state-approved coach to help develop, implement and monitor intervention strategies to improve student performance.

The following local schools were listed as needing an improvement plan:

• Albemarle County — Baker-Butler Elementary, Brownsville Elementary, Mary Carr Greer Elementary, Stone Robinson Elementary and Woodbrook Elementary

• Charlottesville — Buford Middle, Charlottesville High and Walker Upper Elementary

• Fluvanna County — Fluvanna Middle

• Greene County — Ruckersville Elementary

• Louisa County — Louisa County High, Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Trevilians Elementary

• Madison County — William H. Wetsel Middle

• Nelson County — Nelson County High

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