"This assessment allows us to measure academic performance and gives educators valuable data to help tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students," said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. "We have been very encouraged by the progress of students across the Mountain State in basic skills," he said.
"West Virginia's students have shown consistent improvement in total basic skills on the SAT-9 during the three years it has been administered," Stewart continued. "Clearly, educators are doing an outstanding job of delivering quality instruction to students."
According to Jan Barth, executive director for the Office of Student Services and Assessment for the West Virginia Department of Education, the SAT-9 is used to measure academic progress over time and to determine areas in which student performance can be improved.
"This assessment is used by school systems, teachers and parents to gauge academic progress and to determine areas needing improvement," she explained. "West Virginia's instructional goals and objectives are aligned with this assessment, so the SAT-9 is a fair and logical method of measuring how well students are learning."
Barth said that in the days preceding the SAT-9 administration, most schools review subject matter taught during the year and prepare students for testing.
"Schools want to perform well on this test, because it is the assessment used by the state to determine how well students are learning basic skills," she explained. "Although schools do not use the actual SAT-9 to prepare, they normally review material to put students at ease and to help them perform their best on this assessment."
According to Karen Nicholson, assistant director for the Office of Student Services and Assessment, students are tested in the following areas on the SAT-9 (depending on grade level): reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, mathematics problem solving, mathematics procedures, language, spelling, study skills, science, social studies and listening. Each parent will receive a detailed report indicating his or her child's performance on the SAT-9.
Nicholson said that parents can help students prepare for the SAT-9 by:
- making sure that children have sufficient sleep so that they're alert,
- ensuring that children have a nutritious breakfast to start the day,
- encouraging children to relax by reassuring them that the test measures learning and will show strengths and accomplishments,
- discussing the importance of following directions, and
- encouraging children to do their best.
"Education is a partnership involving students, parents, educators and the community," Nicholson said. "By working together, we can provide all students with a solid foundation of learning and achievement."