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W.Va. school board eases testing requirements

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education will not use test scores to determine teacher and school performance grades for at least one year and voted Wednesday to relax some of its testing policies while the state transitions to a new set of standardized assessments.

End-of-year student assessments, for years, have included mandatory testing in science and social studies in addition to math and English. This spring, however, the board will not require students to be tested in social studies and will only administer science assessments to fourth-, sixth- and 10th-graders.

Unlike math and English, the federal Department of Education does not currently call for testing in social studies, and while states are required to test in science, it only has to be done once in elementary, middle and high school.

Some board members were concerned relaxing policy to only meet minimum requirements would negatively affect STEM education, but state Department of Education officials said the waiver would only be a one-year break to allow students, teachers and parents to take “a breath…

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