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West Virginia Earns Top Marks for its Assessment Plan

June 26, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has become one of the first three states to win wholesale federal approval of its No Child Left Behind assessment plan.  

U.S. Department of Education announced Monday it has granted Full Approval to the West Virginia Department of Education’s standards and assessment system. A Peer Review Team reviewed the state’s system in May.  

"I have been extremely impressed with the way the West Virginia Department of Education has worked together to obtain Full Approval of its assessment system to ultimately benefit its students," said Assistant U.S. Secretary Henry Johnson. “I congratulate West Virginia on meeting this important No Child Left Behind requirement.”  

Tennessee and Maryland are the only other states that have been granted Full Approval, which means their assessment programs meet all requirements as is.  

Delaware, South Carolina and Utah have been granted Full Approval With Recommendations, which means their assessments meet requirements but pieces of their systems could be improved.  

The Federal No Child Left Behind legislation requires every state to develop an assessment system to gauge how its school systems are meeting the goal of making sure that all children reach proficiency by 2013-2014. West Virginia’s assessment is called the West Virginia Educational Standards Test or WESTEST. The test is administered to students across the state in grades three through eight and 10.  

The WESTEST measures mastery of West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives. The test includes multiple choice, short answer and essay questions and provides information about a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. It tests student knowledge in reading/ language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.  

“We are honored to have our assessment met the requirements under No Child Left Behind,” said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “West Virginia is striving to not only meet those minimal requirements but to exceed them to give our students the skills and tools they need to excel in the 21st century.”

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