The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

September 27, 2012

Raleigh schools show progress on WESTEST

While West Virginia submitted an application for a flexibility waiver for No Child Left Behind on Sept. 6, schools are still held accountable for meeting adequate yearly progress on their WESTEST until it is approved.

Each year the adequate progress mark is increased.

Only one county, Tyler County, made adequate yearly progress for 2011-12, but Raleigh County still made significant progress, said Sheila Lucento, Raleigh County Schools counseling and test coordinator.

She noted that Raleigh County had 16 schools, or 57 percent, meet the mark, as compared to 11 schools who met adequate yearly progress for the 2010-11 school year.

In addition, a total of 20 schools, or 71 percent, showed increases in half or more grades tested.

The other eight schools held accountable in the county (which does not include The Academy of Careers and Technology) did see increases in some areas and those that decreased had only minor decreases, at times only a few students per grade level, she said.

She said 79 percent of elementary schools and 40 percent of middle schools met the adequate yearly progress mark.

Math scores for students at or above mastery level increased in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11.

Grade three increased the most — with 16 percent.

She explained that math scores did decrease in grade 9; however, the math WESTEST is primarily Algebra 1, a subject not all ninth-graders have taken.

When the county implements the new core standards, Math 1 will encompass elements of algebra and students should be better prepared, she said.

She also noted that statewide, ninth grades showed the lowest math scores.

Raleigh County reading and language arts saw improvement in grades 3, 5, 10, and remained the same in 11.

Grades 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 decreased between 2 and 5 percent.

Lucento noted that state scores also decreased in grades 4, 7 and 8, but Raleigh County scored higher than the state average.

Of those schools that did not meet adequate yearly progress, three did not meet it for the first time.

Lucento explained that Coal City Elementary did not meet the mark only because of math test scores within the low-socioeconomic subgroup.

Liberty and Shady Spring high schools both met the standards on their test scores but did not meet adequate yearly progress for the first time this year because of their graduation rates.

High schools must show a constant increase in graduation rates.

She said the two schools decreased only about one-tenth a percent.

“That why you really have to look at all the facts and not just the single numbers when you look at AYP,” she added.

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