(01/14/2008)
By Bob Weaver

The Calhoun Board of Education will review a Performance Audit Report on Calhoun Middle-High School today during a special meeting starting at 5 p.m.

Superintendent Jane Lynch said she would release the report in a few weeks, and that parts of the report might require discussion in a closed executive session.

The Herald maintains the audit document is currently public information, although the board should first have the opportunity for review.

Because of the uncertainty about the audit's release, the Herald has issued a Freedom of Information request to obtain the information.

The audit standards are based on the federal No Child Left Behind law, which has several contentious requirements that sometimes do not apply to rural school populations.

Opponents of NCLB believe parts of the law are self-defeating and create a situation where schools cannot reach or maintain standards, while many teachers say it results in teaching to the test.

Calhoun Middle-High School has failed to meet average yearly progress, indicating a number of problems including low scoring in math, reading and writing assessment.

Calhoun-Middle High School is among many WV schools not reaching Average Yearly Progress (AYP).

A review was done in November by an Education Performance Audit Team under the direction of the WV Board of Education.

The purpose of a review is to investigate reasons for performance and progress that are persistently below standard and to make recommendations to school systems for improvements.

The audit team that visited Calhoun interviewed school personnel and administrators, observed classrooms and examined school records.

Schools, superintendents, and local boards can appeal parts or all of the report by provisions outlined in West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2320, if they believe the report in error, according to Kenna Seal of the Office of Performance Audits.

Seal says the report does not become final until the OEPA conducts a follow-up audit in approximately a year to determine if corrections have been made, or the recommendations have been followed.

That final report must be approved by the State Board.


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