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W.Va. School Districts Learn Final Test Results

By Staff | Sep 28, 2016

WHEELING – Detailed standardized tests results are in for West Virginia’s school districts, with most Northern Panhandle schools faring slightly better than last year.

But the test scores do indicate there is room for improvement.

The State Department of Education released the results of the West Virginia General Summative Assessment for the 2015-2016 school year, which was administered to the state’s students last spring. The numbers include a grade-by-grade breakdown of results within each county.

Across the state, math proficiency scores increased from 26.77 percent for 2014-15 to 29.98 percent for 2015-16. Reading proficiency rose from 44.81 percent to 46.97 percent; and science proficiency, from 37.33 percent to 35.86 percent.

Tyler County

Last year, ninth-grade students in Tyler County Schools achieved only 13 percent proficiency in math. This year, that number jumped 18.5 points to 31.5 percent.

The trend in the school district continued as seventh-grade students went from a 19.3 to 33.3 percent math proficiency; and fifth graders, from 36.3 to 51.6 percent.

But that wasn’t the case with 11th grade students, where math scores dropped from 26.7 percent to 12.5 percent.

Reading scores also decreased significantly for 11th grade students – from 62 percent to 43.3 percent; and for eighth-grade students, who went from 50.5 to 35.9 percent proficiency.

Superintendent Robin Daquilante said teachers have written specific goals for improving skills that were identified to be a weakness as well as being provided professional learning in the area of school improvement.

Last year, Tyler Consolidated High School seniors showed their merit in many ways. U.S. News and World Report ranks Tyler Consolidated High School as among the best in the state and nation. The school was given a coveted “bronze” ranking. Students earned more than $2,368,495 in merit based scholarships meaning they have earned it through academic excellence, athletic ability, or leadership experience.

Wetzel County

Wetzel County Schools made leaps in improving standardized reading scores in the most recent test results.

Third-grade students jumped from a 37.1 percent proficiency to 47.3 percent; fourth grade, 38.9 percent to 45.1 percent; fifth grade, 35.1 percent to 45.1 percent; sixth grade, 39.5 percent to 41.3 percent; 8th grade, 41.7 percent to 53.8 percent; ninth grade, 31.3 percent to 47.8 percent; and 10th grade, 34.7 percent to 35 percent.

Reading scores dropped among seventh- and 11th-graders.

And math scores jumped more than 10 points among third graders from 41.1 percent to 52.8 percent, while eighth-graders gained 7.4 points by raising their math proficiency from 21.7 to 29.1 percent. Last year, there was a just 9.5 percent proficiency in math among ninth-grade students, and this went up to 17.5 percent. Tenth-graders, meanwhile, went up from 6.5 percent to just 8.2 percent.

Superintendent Edward Toman said Wetzel County continues to work on increasing literacy scores by focusing on the standards, digging deep into the claims and targets to identify challenges and strengths, and adapting our teaching to meet the needs of all learners. He said a key target being addressed from the reading claim is “citing explicit details from text to support or make inferences and conclusions.

“We are continuing to incorporate writing skills systematically and consistently throughout all grade levels to help strengthen this target,” he said. “Wetzel County recognizes the need to align our mathematics curriculum, develop pacing guides and then map our curriculum, and therefore accelerating growth to get our students to proficiency. The targets of problem solving, patterns, equations and fractions, found within the Concepts and Procedures claim, will be our focus.”

Toman said all schools have completed their School Monitoring Reports, as has the county administration. Work on strategic plans is now underway. He said these plans are due to the West Virginia Department of Education by the end of October. The information from West Virginia General Summative Assessment data figures prominently in these documents, as do the various efforts and resources that go into improving student achievement, supporting students in all aspects of their education, supporting families in these efforts, and ensuring student and staff safety.

Toman expressed his gratitude to the faculty, staff, and administration of all eight of our schools for the steadfast and focused work they devote to our students.

Ohio County

Ohio County Schools’ standardized test scores typically rank near the top among West Virginia’s school districts, and they are still mostly well above the state average. But this year’s scores do show some need for improvements at the high school level.

Ninth-graders had only a 26.9 percent proficiency in math, compared to 29.3 percent last year. Tenth-graders brought the mark up to 29.61 percent – nearly a six-point increase over last year’s score of 23.7 percent.

Ninth-grade reading scores, meanwhile, dropped more than six points. This year’s score was 52.2 percent, compared to last year’s 58.7 percent. The 10th-grade students lost more than 5 points, dropping to 51.9 percent from 57 percent.

In the 11th grade, math scores dropped from 31.6 percent in 2014-15 to 30.3 percent for 2015-16. Reading scores, though, increased, to 59.7 percent from 55.2 percent.

At the elementary level, 63.37 percent of third-grade students tested proficient in mathematics, and 62.62 percent in reading – well above the state averages. This compares to a 56.86 percent proficiency in math and 59.17 percent in reading achieved last year, according to the data.

Marshall County

While elementary and middle school reading scores in Marshall County Schools jumped in the most recent round of testing, reading scores at the high school level dropped off, the data indicate.

Ninth-grade reading scores decreased 4.6 points – from 36.8 percent last year to a 36.2 percent proficiency this year. And the score also dropped 7.6 percentage points at the 10th grade level – from 40.9 to 33.3.

The 11th grade lost nearly five points in reading proficiency, achieving 35.8 percent this year and 40.7 percent last year.

Reading scores at the eighth-grade level, though, jumped 5.2 points. There were 39 percent of students achieving proficiency this year, and 33.8 percent last year. The seventh-grade scores increased 4.7 points from 37.2 percent to 41.9 percent. There were also gains at the fourth- and fifth-grade levels.

Hancock County

Reading proficiency scores took a jump at the fourth- and ninth-grade levels in Hancock County Schools, according to the results.

In 2014-15, 51.6 percent of the fourth-grade students achieved reading proficiency, and that figure is now 11.6 points higher at 63.2 percent. The ninth-grade students increased reading proficiency scores by eight points, from 35.8 percent to 43.8.

But reading scores dropped more than eight points among the seventh grade, from 52.65 percent to 44.6 percent. And eighth graders lost 6.5 points, dropping to 50.78 percent from 57.3 percent proficient.

Math scores also dropped off slightly at the fifth, ninth and 11th-grade levels.

Brooke County

Eighth-grade students in Brooke County Schools improved their math scores by more than 12 points after only 19 percent of students scored proficient in 2014-15. They now have achieved 31.1 percent proficiency in math.

Countering that gain, however, was a 6.9 percent drop in math proficiency among 11th graders – from 26.8 percent last year to 19.9 percent this year.

Reading scores jumped from 56.9 percent to 66.7 percent for 11th-graders; from 30.7 percent to 38.8 percent in the sixth grade; and 50.4 percent to 56.7 percent for fourth-graders.