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American Institutes For Research Selected for Statewide Assessment

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October 13, 2017

Charleston, W.Va. – Students in grades 3 through 8 will begin taking a new West Virginia General Summative Assessment (WVGSA) in spring 2018, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced today. American Institutes for Research (AIR) was selected as the successful bidder following a competitive review process.

The shift in the West Virginia’s statewide assessment was a result of the state legislation passed last April (HB 2711) which, among other things, required the WVDE to move away from the Smarter Balanced exam and identify a new assessment to be used in grades 3 through 8.

“The new West Virginia General Summative Assessment will be closely aligned to West Virginia’s standards and our educators will be able to provide input on test items,” said Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Lou Maynus. “AIR provides a complete assessment solution, including interim benchmark assessments with item analysis available to teachers to provide ongoing feedback and practice throughout the year.”

AIR was selected as the successful bidder because their proposal more closely met the specifications of the request for proposal (RFP). AIR will initially provide a blueprint of test items from their existing item bank to the WVDE for review, which considers items that most closely align with the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards. Select West Virginia educators will have the opportunity to review test items and provide input.

After the first year of administration, educators also will be given the opportunity to develop new test items to enhance the assessment.

Additionally, educators will have access to AIR’s AIR Ways reporting platform, which provides valuable information regarding student performance on the interim benchmark and diagnostic assessments, including specific connections to the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards.

The AIR assessment will be administered in an online format for all students in grades 3 through 8. Braille and large format assessments will be available in paper format. AIR also will administer a science assessment for students in grades 5 and 8. The assessment should take no more than four hours for students not taking the science assessment and no more than five-and-a-half hours for students taking the science assessment. Educators will have access to student reports within 12 business days of test administration.

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