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Education Test

State BOE Updated on Fayette County Intervention

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During the West Virginia Board of Education's November meeting Wednesday, Fayette County Superintendent Serena Starcher presented board members with the results of a survey and analysis of the performance of the county's secondary schools.

In October 2013, the state board directed the county to conduct the study specific to Meadow Bridge High School, a school a proposed facilities plan for the county would have consolidated if approved. Starcher said Wednesday, however, the county decided to expand the study to all middle and high schools.

About 3,000 students, or close to half of the county's secondary population, completed the survey this spring while only 144 parents shared their opinions. Results showed students wanted more class options, citing things like art, theater, or foreign languages, and access to more school clubs.

Parents want their children to be prepared for a career in a health science field, like nursing, which Starcher said matched one of the top careers chosen by students as well, but is a field the county's test scores show students aren't prepared for.

"Our math proficiency scores as measured by the WESTEST are where they need to be," Starcher said.

According to the county’s figures, rates range from about 48 percent of students proficient in math at Fayetteville High School all the way down to 21 percent proficient at Meadow Bridge. 

Credit Fayette County Schools
This table shows proficiency rates in math and reading language arts skills comparatively for the Fayette County's two middle and five high schools.

In reading and English, the five county high schools rank slightly higher, but all well below 50 percent efficiency with the exception of Fayetteville. It sits at 55 percent.

“For both enrollment and low SES (socio-economic status), our schools are not performing even average compared to their like high schools and we’re underperforming at all of our schools,” Starcher told the board during her presentation.

Board members made no decision Wednesday how to proceed, but Starcher said the county committee working on the overall facilities plan has no recommendations thus far on consolidating any of the county's schools.

Fayette County is one of two schools in which the state board has intervened in some form. The state is also in control of Gilmer County.

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