- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Board of Education has approved a measure to eliminate statewide standardized testing in social studies and reducing examinations in science.

The board approved the measure on Thursday along with several other major education changes, including delaying labeling schools with its new A-F grading system and allowing county school districts to return to a traditional math course structure or continue with “integrated” math courses originally mandated as the state moved to adopt the Common Core-based math education standards.

While the move relating to social studies and science exams will only applies to testing this spring, the board could approve a more permanent reduction in the future.

Only 36.5 percent of West Virginia students were deemed proficient in social studies last school year, down from 38.4 percent in 2012-2013, and the lowest rate since 2009-2010. Only 40.6 percent made the cut in science in the last school year, down from 41.1 percent in 2012-2013 and the lowest rate since 2010-11.

The Charleston Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1vq1dOG) that Clayton Burch, chief academic officer in the state Department of Education, said the reduction in testing isn’t based on dropping exam results.

Instead, he said the major concern is over-testing.

“We continually hear the idea of over-assessing,” Burch said. “We hear that a lot.”

The votes on the changes came after recommendations from the Department of Education. In its written recommendations, the department said its suggestions were based off “continued comments from superintendents, principals, teachers, students, parents, (and) legislators about the amount of testing required of students.”


Information from: The Charleston Gazette, https://www.wvgazette.com

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