CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates passed a bill Wednesday that directs the state Board of Education to adopt a rule holding students accountable for how they perform on standardized tests.

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House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, said the goal of the bill is not to micro-manage the state BOE but allow the board to gather information and come up with the best rule possible.

“By passage of this rule we’re not telling them how, we’re telling them ‘you come up with the best way to instill some kind of accountability,'” Shott said.

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Supporters of the bill argued too many students rush through the tests because there’s no individual accountability linked to the results.

Cody Thompson

“I’ve seen it myself, students who would go through some of the assessments and just click the answers and make little Christmas Trees and that’s not acceptable and that’s not an accurate measurement of what they’ve learned through the year,” Delegate Cody Thompson, D-Randolph, a teacher, said. “We’re accountable as educators and students need to be accountable as well.”

Thompson did express concern that the rule should keep in mind students who generally don’t test well or may have had a rough night before the test.

Delegate Robert Thompson, D-Wayne, who is also a teacher, said he’s witnessed students from all different levels of achievement who don’t care about the tests.

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Robert Thompson

“These are just not just the bad students that don’t take these steps seriously. These are B students, these are A students that don’t care about these tests because they literally have no impact on what classes they can take. It matters to nothing to them at all,” Thompson said.

Shott said he would anticipate the accountability would be different for younger students that it is for those in high school.

The bill, which passed 84-10 and now heads to the state Senate, requires the state BOE to come up with the rule by July 2021.

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