The West Virginia Department of Education Gives the Public a Sneak Peek of the WESTEST
Posted: April 16, 2004
Charleston, W.Va – The newly developed West Virginia Educational Standards Tests (WESTEST) made its debut at Capital High School this morning. Today, the West Virginia Department of Education gave the public a peek of the test’s design and format.
The WESTEST, which will be administered to students across the state in grades three through eight and 10 from April 19 – 23, 2004, replaces the SAT-9. The WVDE Office of Student Assessment Services developed the WESTEST as part of West Virginia Measure of Academic Progress. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind, the test has become part of West Virginia Achieves, the state’s No Child Left Behind Accountability Plan.
“It is important to get our students excited about the WESTEST,” said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. “Each question on the WESTEST is aligned with a Content Standard and ultimately how a child performs on the test will be just one indicator of a school’s academic progress.”
The WESTEST is an assessment that measures student achievement of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs). The tests provide information about a students academic strengths and weaknesses by performance level descriptors. WESTEST identifies students’ level of performance in the content areas of reading/ language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. A student’s performance is compared to academic standards rather than to the performance of a national sample population of students. Teachers and principals will use the test results to improve student achievement.
“This is an exciting time in our classrooms across the state,” said Stewart. “The WESTEST will give us data needed to identify the pockets of children who may need extra help.”
The WESTEST includes three types of test items for students: selected response (multiple choice), short answer, and constructed response. Selected response items require students to examine information, charts, graphs, procedures, maps, problems, and select a correct response. Short answer and constructive response items provide student the opportunity to write their individual responses.
Under the leadership of the Office of Student Assessment Services and CTB/McGraw-Hill, West Virginia educators and business/community representatives designed and developed WESTEST, the new criterion-referenced assessment. The WESTEST items are the finished product of three years of work by the West Virginia Department of Education’s Offices of Assessment, Instructional Services, Special Education Programs/Services and Technology, along with educators and business/community representatives from across the state.
Also during the event, the WVDE launched its WESTEST website. You can learn more about the WESTEST by logging onto http://westest.k12.wv.us