West Virginia Students Reaching National Goals

August 29, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - More than 80 percent of West Virginia schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under Federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. State Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine announced Friday that 558 schools made the grade in 2008.

All West Virginia students are required to take the West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WESTEST), an assessment that measures student achievement of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs). AYP is determined by WESTEST scores and attendance or graduation rates.

"While NCLB has played an important role in closing the achievement gap, its emphasis on standardized testing does not fully support the skills students need to be globally competitive," Paine said. "We recognize that it is time for us also to 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 in 2005. Since that time, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has developed the 21st Century Learning and Teaching program and has updated its CSOs to include rigor, relevance and 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. The WVDE is doing this by aligning state standards not only with the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) but also with international standards found in international assessments including the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS).

West Virginia's 21st Century Learning and Teaching program also includes a more challenging assessment to replace the WESTEST. WESTEST 2 is an assessment that increases the expectations of what a student should know and be able to do upon graduation from high school.  At the core of the plan are teachers who are eager to bring 21st century learning to their classrooms.

"The WESTEST is but one indicator of student progress," Paine said. "It is important that we balance 21st century assessment practices to include other meaningful measures of student achievement such as benchmark assessments and formative classroom assessments."

Classroom assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction. Benchmark assessment occurs periodically throughout the year to verify student learning. These types of assessments enable teachers to diagnose and respond to student needs.

School AYP data can be found by clicking the following link:



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