Putnam County Leads In Student Achievement

Nineteen Of  22 Schools MET AYP Standards In 2012

Putnam County Schools is pleased to announce that once again, all student subgroups achieved top rankings in all areas of WESTEST2, which measures how well students meet West Virginia’s curriculum standards. In addition, nineteen of twenty-two schools met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2012 under the federal No Child Left Behind regulations.

“I am very pleased that even with the more and more rigorous standards, our students are still at the top on indicators of success,” states Superintendent of Schools Harold “Chuck” Hatfield. “It attests to the quality of our instruction and our community.”
Putnam County’s third through eleventh graders took the West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WESTEST2) in May.
Under No Child Left Behind, all students, including economically disadvantaged students and those with disabilities, must meet the same standards in order for schools to make AYP. In Putnam, these student groups also led the state in percentage of students proficient.
Even though Putnam’s WESTEST2 scores exceed state averages for every group at all programmatic levels, the system continues to focus on closing the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students and those with disabilities.
Superintendent Hatfield embraces the challenge: “In Putnam County, our goal is for every student to be at mastery or better and college or career ready when they leave us.”
Now that they have WESTEST2 data, county and school leaders will work on strategic plans to define the practices in curriculum, instruction, support, and family involvement that will ensure student success.  Closing the achievement gap for those with disabilities and low socio-economic status will remain a major focus for the district.
“As we analyze our data, we look to see what we must improve to ensure student growth. We will not be satisfied until every student in our schools meets national and international expectations for success,” states Hatfield.
According to the West Virginia Department of Education web site, WESTEST 2 is a custom-designed assessment for West Virginia students. The individual content assessments measure a student’s levels of performance on clearly defined standards and objectives and skills. Student scores are based on test questions that have been developed and aligned to the West Virginia 21st Century CSOs. WESTEST 2 Online Writing is a part of the reading/language arts portion of WESTEST 2. Sample test questions may be found on the Teach 21 website.

The assessment results provide information about a student’s academic strengths, as well as areas that need improvement. The parent/guardian will receive a student report that indicates levels of performance in each of the content areas. Student performance is measured by West Virginia academic standards rather than a comparison to the performance of a national sample population of students. Results of the tests will be used by educators to improve student learning and performance. 

The West Virginia Department of Education recently initiated a media campaign to inform the public how education in West Virginia is changing as schools move towards Global 21 education.   The Test Your Knowledgenewspaper ads along with other media are posted on our website.  Also, as a support to educators in charting student performance in meeting global challenges, the West Virginia Department of Education has provided instructional benchmarks designed to assess student progress over the course of the school year.  These instructional benchmarks are available on the Acuity Platform and the Writing RoadMap 2 Websites.

Publisher’s note: A news release by Karen S. Nowviskie provided information for this article.