|By Dianne Weaver|
It is a complicated world for those who try to understand reports on the
success of education.
States have a huge stake in the scores on their exams.
Now, the federal government has officially approved WVs standardized test
that children in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 take across the state every
The U.S. Department of Education has granted "full approval" to the entire
system West Virginia has established to meet the No Child Left Behind Act.
The legislation requires every state to develop a program to monitor how
well districts are teaching children.
A recent study by the Education Trust found that 71 percent of West Virginia
eighth-graders were proficient or better in math according to the state's
standardized test. Meanwhile, only 18 percent were considered proficient in
math on a rigorous federal test.
Among fourth-graders, 74 percent were considered proficient or better in
math on the state test. That's compared to 25 percent by the federal
Education officials in West Virginia say comparing state and federal scores
side by side doesn't take all factors into account. They say the Education
Trust study is skewed.
Jan Barth, executive director of student assessment for the state Department
of Education says "They're not looking at everything. You can't just compare
"Our content standards and our test has been approved by the federal
government," said Liza Cordeiro, state Department of Education spokesperson.
"That cannot be ignored."
The Trust said it's up to each state to evaluate such information.