In May 2013, students in Logan County Schools took the WESTEST 2, an annual assessment designed to align to West Virginia’s 21st Century CSO’s. The assessment results provide information about a student’s academic strengths, as well as areas that need improvement.
On September 12, 2013, students took home their WESTEST 2 student report that indicates levels of performance in each of the content areas. Students will also bring home or will soon bring home a Student Growth Report that will show his/her test scores over time, whether or not the student is keeping up or falling behind, how much growth (Low, Typical, or High,) the student is making relative to his/her academic peers, and how much growth is projected to require the student to reach proficiency in three years or by 11th grade, whichever comes first.
According to data recently received concerning the May 2013 WESTEST 2 results, about 82 percent of Logan County Schools have shown some progress since last year. Under West Virginia’s new accountability system, 18 percent of Logan County Schools were classified as “Success” schools—the highest designation given by the WV Dept. of Education. The Success schools are South Man, Verdunville and Logan Middle.
41 percent of Logan County Schools were ranked as “Transition” schools which are schools that the majority of students either met the academic goals in math and English/language arts or the school reached its goals in attendance, graduation rate and academic success among student groups. The Transition schools are Omar, East and West Chapmanville, Hugh Dingess, Justice, Logan, and Man Elementaries.
18 percent of the county’s schools were labeled as “Priority” schools, the lowest ranking of the school designations. These schools rank among the lowest performing in the state based on the number of students at or above Mastery on WESTEST 2. Five percent of West Virginia schools were flagged as Priority schools. The Priority schools are Buffalo, Chapmanville Regional High, and Man High. These schools will receive targeted support from the county, regional RESA office, and the WV Department of Education.
Logan County had 2 “Focus” schools, Holden and Chapmanville Middle. A school could have good test scores but would become a Focus school if the learning gaps between student groups are too large. High Schools, with this designation, the graduation gap between student groups is too large.
“Support” schools are schools where the majority of students either did not meet their annual academic goals in math and English/language arts nor did the school reach its goals in attendance, graduation rates, student growth, scores on WESTEST 2 and learning gaps between student groups. These schools, Logan High and Man Middle, will receive professional development, technical assistance and interventions throughout the year to help achieve student success. West Virginia had 89 Support schools, 31 Priority schools, 97 Focus schools, 251 Transition schools, and 184 Success schools.
West Virginia’s new accountability system gives each school a score that takes into account attendance, student growth, growth among student groups, and graduation rates ( 30 percent of the index score) along with test scores to determine school designation and growth.
4, 179 students in grades 3-11 were tested in Logan County last year. Of those students, 37 percent (WV 46 percent) were proficient (scored mastery or higher) in math and 44 percent (WV 49 percent) were proficient in reading.
Of the 37 percent of students that reached proficiency in math, 57 percent (WV 64 percent) are keeping with growth expectations, 43 percent (WV 36 percent) are not. Of the 63 percent (WV 63 percent) of students that did not meet the proficiency level (mastery), 23 percent (WV 27 percent) are catching up and 77 percent (WV 73 percent) are not catching up to their peers’ growth levels.
In reading, of the 44 percent (WV 50 percent) of students that met proficiency, 65 percent (WV 70 percent) are keeping up with growth expectations, 35 percent (30 percent) are not. Of the 56 percent (WV 50 percent) of students who did not meet the proficiency level in reading, 28 percent (WV 32 percent) are catching up, 72 percent (WV 68 percent) are not.
Soon, teachers using WVEIS WOW will be able to look at the students in their classes and will be able to print a report listing those students who are not keeping up or nor catching up. This will allow the teachers to provide targeted instruction to those students in specific areas of need.
Harless Cook, Director of Guidance and Testing for Logan County Schools, states that while most of our schools showed gains in one or more areas, we have a long way to go. With this new system, accountability is based on how well they are closing achievement gaps for subgroups, different growth rates, attendance and graduation rates as well as math and reading scores, which hold the most weight.
Schools are no longer compared to other schools. The focus is on that individual school. Each school as well as each subgroup in that school has its own index target goal to meet each year, with a trajectory to meet proficiency by 2020. For a more detailed explanation of how your school was designated, visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/esea/performance
Starting next year, the WESTEST 2 will be replaced with a new computer test called the Smarter Balanced Assessment which is based on the Federal Common Core Standards. A Smarter Balanced Practice test is available for students, parents and teachers to take at http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test. To access the test, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Student Interface Practice Test.