State education leaders visit Waynesboro schools

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- Members from the Virginia Department of Education are spending some time in the Valley.

Waynesboro Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Cassell invited the Secretary of Education, Deputy Secretary of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to tour Wenonah Elementary and William Perry Elementary.

He has been chatting with these folks throughout the year, hoping to have them stop by and visit the two schools he feels deserve the proper recognition after the accountability system backfired on them.

He said it's unfair for one test to label a school as good or bad.

"I think we have to have many measures of student success in arts, in attendance, in all of the various programs we have and measuring student success using more authentic methods than one test on one day," said Dr. Cassell.

Dr. Steven Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction, agreed that changes need to be made.

"Our accountability system focuses on one thing and that's test scores," said Dr. Staples. "Schools are a lot more than test scores and we're very excited at some of the changes underway in the state that I think will reflect some of the work that we've seen today in schools in Waynesboro."

Dr. Staples is hoping the next wave of accountability will focus on progress, children learning English, gaining resiliency and using creative problem solving.

He said the state Board of Education will conclude their review of the system this spring.