Increased Content Rigor


The student performance results on WESTEST, our summative state assessment, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were not aligned. While our students demonstrated impressive performance results on the WESTEST, their performance on the NAEP assessments were not very impressive. Dr. Paine, State Superintendent of Schools, immediately that the Office of Assessment conduct a study to determine if the WV Content Standards and Objectives were in alignment with the NAEP standards. This study revealed that a better alignment was required.



Rigorous Content Standards


The International Center for Leadership in Education, Rigor and Relevance Framework

Quality 21st Century instruction and assessment, designed around the content, learning skills and technology tools standards and objectives and characterized by both rigor and relevance, will provide students with the rich learning and assessment experiences found in Quadrant D of the Rigor and Relevance Framework. When students engage in rich learning experiences requiring the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, while applying their knowledge across disciplines to both real world predictable and unpredictable situations, it is only appropriate that the assessments of that learning are also designed in Quadrant D. Thus, we have a need for quality classroom learning experiences that are launched and then assessed in Quadrant D. These learning experiences are embedded in engaging standards-focused Project Based Learning Designs.


To support Quadrant D learning and classroom assessment, the Office of Instruction continues to work with teachers to create instructional guides, standards-focused units, and engaging Project Based Learning units in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, visual art, music, dance and theatre. These resources, found on the Teach 21 website, provide classroom teachers with quality classroom performance assessments and products accompanied by carefully designed rubrics that reflect the identified learning goals and targets.



In an effort to create content standards and objectives with world-class rigor, the WV State Board of Education requested that those teachers and WVDE staff members charged with revising the content standards and objectives review a wide variety of national and international standards. Among the standards reviewed and studied by the revision teams were the following sets of standards: NAEP; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS); Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA); ACT Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics and Writing; SAT Reading, Mathematics, Writing; National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE); National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), NCTM Curriculum Focal Points, K-8; National Reading Panel; International Reading Association; National Standards or History (American and World); and National Standards from the Council of the Social Studies.


Representatives from the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, as well as representatives of WV teachers of high school English and mathematics courses worked collaboratively to identify WV College Readiness Standards.


In 2008, the WVDE contracted with Dr. William Schmidt to examine the alignment of the WV Content Standards for Mathematics and WV Content Standards for Science to the TIMSS Standards. The staff carefully reviewed the findings of this study and the response to this study is provided here. As a result of this work, WVDE staff and classroom teachers are making further revisions for the Science Content Standards and Objectives.


        National Council Higher Ed Review

        West Virginia Science and Math Alignment to TIMSS Standards by William Schmidt

o   WVDE Response to Schmidt Report

        West Virginia College Readiness Standards Committee Meeting Executive Summary

        Operational Form Development Update: Distribution of Complexity/Increase Sophistication/Difficulty in Progressive Grades

        NCTE/IRA Standards for English Language Arts

        Standards for the English Language Arts

        NICHD Publications

        National Reading Panel

        ACT Reading, English Language Arts and Writing

        SAT Reading and Writing

        Social Studies National Standards for Economics

        Social Studies National Standards for Geography

        Social Studies National Standards for Civics

        Social Studies National Standards for History (American and World)

        Social Studies National Standards and Strands from the National Council of the Social Studies

        Social Studies Reading Standard (page 6)