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Martirano believes test results should be tied to Promise Scholarship, college entrance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano wants to “begin the conversation” to link standardized test results to the Promise Scholarship and college entrance, he said Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Martirano wants to incentivize middle school and high school students to spend more time on the Smarter Balanced assessment. The ‘time on test’ data from last spring’s testing, released Wednesday, was “very alarming”, according to Martirano.

“Our 11th graders only gave us 196 minutes out of those 450 minutes (available for the testing), which says to me, they weren’t taking it serious. They weren’t making the effort that needed to occur to get those good results we received in grades three, four and five,” Martirano said.

The younger students spent just about all of the time allotted during the English/Language Arts testing while the high school students spent less than half of the time set aside. In the math testing, 10th and 11th graders spent on average just more than an hour taking the test when 3.5 hours were allotted.

Students need to know the tests are important, Martirano said.

“We got to be looking at ways to work with out policymakers and our state board to make certain we’re strengthening that expectation of making it a college entrance number, using it for the Promise Scholarship, making it matter for the young people, to use their expression–so that they have a little bit of skin in the game,” Martirano said.

The results show the younger students spent more time on the tests and the results were better. Tenth and 11th graders were only 19 and 20 percent proficient in math. Rushing through the tests goes against working hard in school, Martirano said.

“Hard work pays off every day. When you’re putting in the effort good things are going to happen,” he said. “If our young people give us the maximum amount of time required in the middle school and high school as they did in the elementary level–we are going to see continuing soaring results.”

Martirano said it’s also worth discussing using the test results for college entrance for those students who can’t afford to take the ACT or SAT.

“We’re offering this test free of charge to them in school and then colleges could use that to accept as an admissions criteria as well,” he said.

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