I am sure Hampshire county is not known around the state for its test scores, that is, unless you are referring to the fact that they tend to be one of the lowest in the state. Certain I am, however, that we are the butt of many jokes by administrators down in Charleston. Recently I read the lead story in the Hampshire Review that stated we were improving. The numbers they were referring to were pretty dismal to say the least. When I looked at the state data on the test, it showed that only four school in the county met the standard. When comparing Mineral county to Hampshire county, one has to wonder what is going on in our neck of the woods! A mere 20 miles away, every school in the County met the state minimum state standards. Below is the data from the state education site:
Here is the link if you would like to see the state statistics. http://wveis.k12.wv.us/nclb/public12/replist_Y.cfm?cn=028
|WVEIS Code||School Name||School Type||AYP
|1.||028 – 201||Augusta Elementary School||Elementary|
|2.||028 – 204||John J. Cornwell School||Elementary|
|3.||028 – 206||Romney Elementary School||Elementary|
|4.||028 – 207||Slanesville Elementary School||Elementary|
|5.||028 – 208||Springfield-Green Spring School||Elementary|
|6.||028 – 209||Capon Bridge Elementary School||Elementary|
|7.||028 – 401||Capon Bridge Middle School||Middle|
|8.||028 – 402||Romney Middle School||Middle|
|9.||028 – 501||Hampshire Senior High School||High|
For those of you who are not familiar with state testing, it is somewhat complex. First off, every couple of years the test is changed so that there is never a continuous data stream to compare to the past. I have witnessed this first hand when trying to put together some long-term data on the direction our county is going. Second, testing is a huge money-making scheme for several large companies. The county has to pay for most of these tests. Further more that is money that could be used for supplies and teacher salaries. More to the point, which company would you buy your test from? Would you buy from a company whose tests made your state look bad or would you buy from a company that made your state look good? If I am under the gun to meet some standard that the federal government has set, I better find a company that is going to enhance our status! Third, you will find a majority of professional teachers in today’s classroom that do not approve of the mountain of testing our children endure. It was always a challenge for me to get a class hyped up for the end of the year test. Can you imagine what it is like to spend about one-fifth of your school year testing?
Do not think for one moment that I am letting Hampshire county schools off the hook for these terrible scores! Regardless of whether we meet the federal guidelines or not, we are one of the worst scoring counties in the state and one of the worst scoring states in America, we ought not even think of comparing ourselves to the rest of the developed world when we are way down on the list! Making a state-by-state comparison is fair since everyone in the state takes the same test and functions ( I use the word function reluctantly) under the same leadership and financial guidelines. The national percentages are somewhat more difficult since every state uses its own testing guideline and procedures. If you look at the national rankings, you will see that we are close to the bottom! Here is a site where you can look at the stats to see how we as a state are doing. Notice that the graphs are adjusted to the scores in each state. The bars that show the national averages are different in every chart but actually represent the same number. This makes it more difficult to read!
As you can see below, I have written extensively about education in our state and county and am appalled by the level of achievement we have settled for. Make no mistake, we are in a crisis in this state as well as many other states, and our children are the ones who are affected the most! Below is a list of the many other posts I have made that you are welcome to read:
I have said it many times and to many people, we need to transform education into a working model that trains our children to be competent and responsible human beings. Sure, it is a different world and sure, we face many complex issues but the solutions are easy if we just get back to basic education. We must make a decision: is education just about replacing the dysfunctional home and society or is it a place of academic rigor. My teaching motto has changed little since I first stepped into the classroom: Expect a lot, get a lot; expect a little, get a little! Right now our schools expect very little from our children and guess what….that’s what they are getting.