By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia students’ scores on a new standardized test exceeded national projections for literacy proficiency but fell below the benchmarks for math proficiency, preliminary test results show.

Third-graders were the exception. They topped proficiency projections for both math and English Language Arts/Literacy that were set by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s 2014 national field tests, the West Virginia Department of Education said.

Students in grades 3-8 and in 11th grade took the new General Summative Assessment test in the spring. Preliminary results were released Wednesday at the West Virginia Board of Education’s meeting.

Forty-six percent of West Virginia third-graders were proficient in literacy, compared to 38 percent of third-graders who took the 2014 national field tests. Forty-four percent of state third-graders were proficient in math, compared to 39 percent of those who took the national tests.

Other grades’ literacy proficiency scores ranged from 43 percent of eighth-graders to 51 percent of fifth-graders, all higher than the 2014 national test scores. Math proficiency scores ranged from 20 percent of 11th graders to 35 percent of fourth-graders, all below the national scores.

“While I believe we should celebrate the successes of our students, I also want to use these results as a guide for the areas where we need to improve,” state Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said Wednesday in a news release. “It’s clear we must remain steadfast in our commitment to increase student achievement in the areas of math and science.”

Results from the new online test, which replaced the state’s WESTEST 2 standardized test, cannot be compared to previous statewide scores, education officials said.

“It is important to remember this is a reset year and we anticipate student scores to increase as we move forward,” Vaughn Rhudy, executive director of the Department of Education’s Office of Assessment, said in the news release.

The new test is based on the national Common Core standards.


This version corrects third-grade literacy scores.

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