August 4, 2003, Extra Credit
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August 4, 2003
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In West Virginia, No Child Left Behind Is Both Challenging And Exciting
West Virginia officials are holding informational meetings around the state to discuss No Child Left Behind. Following are excerpts from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph's coverage of a recent meeting:

"More than 250 participants, mainly teachers but also some principals and assistants from area counties, heard West Virginia Department of Education officials discuss current standards, assessment methods, reporting and accountability. 'The No Child Left Behind program is both challenging and exciting,' Keith Butcher, the state's Title 1 director and assistant director in the Officer of Instructional Services, said privately after his presentation. 'Challenging because we have to redesign our entire educational system, so that a child is proficient in reading and math. Exciting because, if we accept that challenge, then what it will mean for each child will be a better education.'"

"Butcher also said, 'I think standards-based practice is the best system for students and teachers.' It's designed to answer 'what do students need to know by the end of the year?' Before speaking to the audience about the role of assessment in accountability, Brenda West, a former teacher now with the Office of Assessment, privately discussed what assessment will mean to the new program. 'It plays a major role in the new NCLB legislation. The state will have a new assessment, the West Virginia Educational Standards Test, or WESTEST. It is aligned to the state's content standards and objectives.' The test, she said, 'measures what teachers teach and what students should know and be able to do.'"

"Dianne Hull, a Randolph County elementary school principal and facilitator for the West Virginia Center for Professional Development, which produced the Governor's Summer Institute, said privately that there are already positive results from WESTEST. 'We're barely into the NCLB program and we're beginning to see that the WESTEST was easier, because it was on what teachers taught.'"

The complete text of the article was published in the July 28, 2003 edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. It no longer available online.


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Last Modified: 07/28/2006