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West Virginia Board of Education Votes to Repeal Standards and Reduce Testing in Schools

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December 17, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) voted to repeal and replace the current K-12 academic standards known as “Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives” during its board meeting today. The vote comes following a 30-day public comment period on a new set of standards known as the “West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards” as recommended by State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano.

The new set of standards, which take effect July 1, 2016, were developed based on findings presented by West Virginia University following the Academic Spotlight community review which included input from more than 5,000 individuals and generated more than 250,000 individual comments.

From July through September 2015, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) provided an online platform for West Virginia residents to review the current academic standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics and provide specific feedback on how the standards could be improved. The new standards reflect feedback received through the Academic Spotlight process and are based on a rigorous, challenging and focused foundation.

“I believe this process was transparent and I am proud of the work that has been done to develop a set of revised standards that are unique to West Virginia and developed with the input of our state residents and education experts,” said State Board of Education President Mike Green. “These proposed new standards not only increase rigor and ensure developmental appropriateness, but also provide a foundation to ensure our students are equipped with the skills needed for college, careers and the 21st century world of work.”

Amid commendation for the new standards, Green vowed to continue to work closely with lawmakers and all stakeholders to ensure a world-class education system for all children in West Virginia.

“I celebrate this significant day for education in West Virginia and thank the citizens who took time to provide feedback.” Green said. “The State Board is always open for public input and I encourage continued engagement on all education issues in our state.”

Green also thanked West Virginia University, and specifically the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS), for participating as a third party to research, assess and analyze data collected during the Academic Spotlight review.

“West Virginia University is committed to high quality public education throughout the state, and the Academic Spotlight offered us a unique opportunity to demonstrate that commitment,” said CEHS Dean Gypsy Denzine. “I believe the new set of standards align with higher education standards and career preparedness and will ensure that students in West Virginia are primed for future success.”

A complete list of specific changes made as a result of the 30-day public comment period can be found here.

The Board also voted to adopt a revised policy that streamlines the state requirements for testing students. The revised policy significantly decreases the amount of formal testing by eliminating social studies testing in all grades, eliminating testing in science in grades 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 and removing the requirements to administer the ACT EXPLORE, ACT PLAN and ACT COMPASS assessments.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Communications Office at (304) 558­-2699 or kristin.anderson@k12.wv.us.

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