By Bob Weaver|
Several West Virginia county school systems have excluded a large percentage of
student test scores from the Stanford Achievement Test, making their overall scores
appear to be higher.
About 24,000 students did not get counted, although some of them were not able to
take the test "under standard conditions" or had disabilities or impairments which
actually qualified them to be excluded.
The Stanford test is given to students in the 3rd and 11th grades.
A Charleston Gazette story indicates many counties around the state appear to have
abused the statistical scoring. Roane County had a high exclusion rate at 17
Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Ron Blankenship said exclusions from the
achievement statistics in Calhoun was only nine percent. He said those students had
legitimate problems and were not counted. "I do not believe in inflating those
numbers to make the situation look better," said Blankenship.
Twenty-two percent of McDowell County students were not counted as the State
Department of Education recently took over the school system. The inflation of
student scores was a primary issue, as the board hired former Webster
superintendent Mark Manchin to straighten up the system. Manchin, however, had
excluded twenty-one percent of students in Webster County.
County school systems have been warned by the State Department of Education to
not exclude students except in cases where there was a valid reason.
Doris Weekley, Roane County's Director of Curriculum said nearly twenty percent of
Roane students received special education services last year, and 22 students did
not take the SAT test.