(05/22/2012)
West Virginia students who might have creative writing skills could fall short on the state's WESTEST.

The WESTEST essays are graded by a computer.

The thousands of essays written by WV students last week will go unread by human eyes.

A majority of responses for the written portion of the tests are being graded by a computer.

Officials say the essays written on computers are sent to the state's testing vendor that grades the essays using a computer program.

That program was developed using more than 10,000 essays written by students and graded by teachers, allowing the program to determine what teachers valued in the essays.

In seconds, the program looks at six points; organization, development, sentence structure, word choice, grammar usage and mechanics.

Officials say there are checks in place to maintain grading accuracy.


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