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Statewide Assessment Policy on Public Comment, Revised Policy Will Target End-of-Course Exams

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January 11, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) is considering a revision to its assessment policy, Policy 2340, that would replace the Smarter Balanced high school English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. The WVBE voted at its meeting today to place the proposed new policy on public comment for 30 days, which would require the administration of end-of-course (EOC) exams in selected core courses at the high school level.

EOC exams will be administered in ELA, mathematics and science, and will be developed uniquely for West Virginia with input from West Virginia teachers, administrators and other appropriate stakeholders.

“No one single assessment solution is without flaw and cannot meet the needs of all stakeholders equally and effectively,” said Michael Green, President of the WVBE. “It is important for us to be innovative to identify the best solutions for the students in West Virginia and consider input from our stakeholders.”

EOC exams are being considered as a means of adding value and increasing performance on the statewide assessments among high school students. Latest assessment data show students at the high school level did not spend the time necessary on the current Smarter Balanced assessments. The hope is that the EOC exams will increase accountability and engagement among students.

“End-of-course exams will add value and incite motivation among our high school students because they will be factored into students’ final grades in each respective course, and therefore tied to outcomes and benefits that are clear to students,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano. “Administering an assessment that is factored into students’ final grades will influence the effort index for all students, not just those who are college bound.”

The West Virginia EOC exams will be aligned to the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for corresponding courses and designed in such a manner as to assure that their implementation and administration will not disrupt West Virginia’s Statewide Accountability System. The exams will be fully implemented during the 2018-19 school year.

The WVBE also approved a motion that directs the West Virginia Department of Education to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) to seek the most appropriate summative assessment for ELA and mathematics in grades 3 through 8.

Members of the public may provide comment on Policy 2340 by visiting: http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/

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