WV scores rise on Smarter Balanced, which state will continue to use

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WV scores rise on Smarter Balanced, which state will continue to use
Ryan Quinn , Charleston Gazette-Mail

Statewide proficiency rates on the annual end-of-year standardized tests for West Virginia public elementary, middle and high school students increased from the 2014-15 school year to last school year in nearly every tested grade on all tested subjects, according to preliminary data.

But even with the proficiency rate increases, the fact remained that less than half of the roughly 180,000 tested Mountain State students scored “proficient” or higher in English language arts, and only about a third were deemed proficient in math and science.

In a conference call this week with reporters, Vaughn Rhudy, executive director of the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Assessment, said the state will use the Smarter Balanced exams again this spring. Those tests have made up most of the end-of-year standardized testing for the past two school years.

That move might anger members of state schools Superintendent Michael Martirano’s Commission on Assessment. A majority of the members — who included Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association teachers union, and heads of school principal and superintendent associations — favored moving away from Smarter Balanced, but Martirano, who originally tried to keep the public out of the commission’s meetings before reversing course, never released official “final recommendations” from the group.

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