(08/25/2012)
By Bob Weaver

West Virginia's students in some counties are showing signs of improvement, according to the latest WESTEST results released by the West Virginia Department of Education Thursday.

The West Virginia Department of Education web site says that Calhoun Middle-High School and Pleasant Hill Elementary School failed to meet the 2011-12 standards for Average Yearly Progress.

The failure of Pleasant Hill Elementary could be a first time situation.

Calhoun Middle-High School has failed Average Yearly Progress for at least five of last six years.

"The WVDE is withholding results for Arnoldsburg because of apparent problems with some of the data," said Superintendent Roger Propst.

"West Virginia has filed a request for waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements with the US Department of Education," said Calhoun Superintendent Roger Propst.

Propst said the state department will be reporting this year's results referencing a student and school growth model that emphasizes adequate growth or improvement of students and schools, rather than the current emphasis on an arbitrary level called Average Yearly Progress (AYP).

Propst said under the new model adopted by the state, each student's parents will be provided an individual report that will show progress in each area tested cumulative over the child's school years.

"We are suppose to be able to access by Monday a website that will display our data in this new format concentrating on growth and progress, and indicating whether a school has met Adequate Growth, rather than AYP," Propst said.

During the 2010-11 school year, Arnoldsburg did not meet the improvement standards, unusual for that school.

The West Virginia Educational Standards Test called WESTEST2 is taken by students in third grade through 11th grade.

The 2011-12 results issued by the state shows that 57 percent of West Virginia schools met Adequate Yearly Progress as required by the No Child Left Behind law, a 7 percent increase from 2010-2011.

Of the state's 151 middle schools, 113 didn't meet standard requirements.

The testing mandated by No Child Left Behind has been surrounded by controversy, with some educators claiming it is just "teaching to a test."

Still, Calhoun Schools during 2010-11 found themselves ranked at or near the bottom in performance outcomes of the state's 55 county systems.

Regionally, all of Gilmer Counties five schools met Average Yearly Progress.

Braxton County, with eight schools, six met standards, with the high school and middle school coming up short.

Of six schools in Ritchie County, four made AYP, with the high and middle school not making the standards.

In Roane County, Reedy was the only one of six schools meeting AYP.

Wirt County High School made AYP, with the middle and primary schools failing to met the standards.

Of six Clay County schools, the four elementary schools met the standards.


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