West Virginia Students Go Back To School With An Academic Head Start

August 23, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – About 85 percent of West Virginia schools received a passing mark on the No Child Left Behind report card this year. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) today announced that of the 709 school accountable under NCLB, 607 met adequate yearly progress (AYP).  

NCLB 2006

Another upward trend in the state’s NCLB data includes an increase in the number of low socio-economic student who met AYP. The percentage of students meeting AYP in the low socio-economic subgroup increased from 93 percent in 2005 to 96 percent in 2006. The percentage of schools accountable for students with disabilities meeting AYP remained the same at 41 percent in 2006.  

West Virginia Achieves, the state’s NCLB accountability plan, focuses on closing the achievement gap between student subgroups. All West Virginia students are required to take the West Virginia Educational Standards Test, also called WESTEST, an assessment that measures student achievement of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs). AYP is determined by the WESTEST and either attendance or graduation rate.  

“It is a great accomplishment to meet the federal standards of NCLB and I am proud of our school administrators, teachers and students,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Meanwhile, the WVDE will work closely with the schools that missed the mark.”  

The WVDE remains concerned that the subgroups are below the statewide average.  

“We need to head off this problem now before these students fall too far behind,” Paine said. “West Virginia is committed to helping all students – African Americans, white, economically disadvantaged, non-English speaking, disabled and gifted – learn and succeed in the fiercely competitive global economy. We recently developed a High Needs Task Force to tackle the issues facing high need students and building a powerful plan that gets to the core of what students need as they develop into 21st century citizens.”  

While NCLB has played an important role by closing the achievement gap, it has also resulted in a lack of academic emphasis on the quality of education.  

“I am an adamant supporter of educational accountability and strongly believe in closing the achievement gap,” Paine said. “Now it is time for us to also focus on the quality mission and that means embedding 21st century skills into all that we teach.”  

West Virginia became the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, along with the West Virginia Board of Education, the WVDE, state legislators, educators and other community members signed a statement of support indicating their commitment to 21st century learning. The Partnership’s framework puts a special emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, global awareness and business literacy. Currently, all CSOs are being aligned with these 21st century skills.  

For Data visit: http://wvachieves.k12.wv.us/resources.html  

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