Spirits were much higher at Monday night’s board of education meeting in Wetzel County. There was big enthusiasm from teachers and administrators. Superintendent Williams gave a presentation about the progress in the schools and there has been a big rise in test scores.
The presentation was all about the county’s plan to get their students up to par. During the 2014-2015 school year, Wetzel County schools were ranked 40 out of the 55 counties in West Virginia.
Some big improvements include significant rises in test scores, higher attendance, and graduation rates. Those test scores have left some parents and teachers wondering their students are only learning to a test, but others say they’ve seen their kids improve and couldn’t be more impressed.
“My concern that I hear from parents is that the ICA’s that they’re giving are a waste of time. A lot of parents are saying what are you doing with my kids? You gave this test in September and you worked for 135 days they ought to improve,” said Bill Jones, former Wetzel County educator and board of education candidate.
“The growth is overwhelming and I think within 2 to 3 years we’re going to be in the top 10 in the state at this rate, based on what I’m seeing, I mean we’re talking 30-40% growth between 2 tests, it’s amazing,” said Wetzel County parent and board of education candidate Christie Priem.
“We’re spending an awful lot of instructional time doing these in room tests during the school year and teachers are in fact teaching to the test and I think that’s really unfortunate. I really don’t see that as the answer in public education. I think what you should do is maximize instructional time, and anything that takes away from instructional time, ought to concern us all,” said Warren Grace, former Paden City high school principal and board of education candidate.
The superintendent said the data and testing that is being done is being used for professional purposes to identify the missing links in the school system.
Parents say they just want their kids to be prepared when it comes to college and career preparation.