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Monongalia County superintendent discusses proficiency

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While test scores in Monongalia County Schools have declined alongside other systems, Superintendent Eddie Campbell notes the district continues to trend above state averages.

The West Virginia Department of Education released data on education proficiency last week; the report shows West Virginia’s students have a lower proficiency compared to the years preceding the coronavirus pandemic, although there was a slight increase compared to the prior year.

Eddie Campbell (File)

Compared to the pre-pandemic assessment in the 2018-2019 period, the rate of proficient Monongalia County students has decreased by around 5% in math, about 1% in reading and about 3% in science.

Proficiency among Monongalia County students is nearly 10% higher across multiple subjects compared to state averages in the same fields.

“We didn’t see the same effects as many of our colleagues around the state as well, but we definitely saw a drop-off,” Campbell told MetroNews affiliate WAJR-AM.

According to Campbell, methods used to rank all 50 states for proficiency are not fair.

“If people really truly wanted to compare states and how they test across the board, they could come up with some more consistency in that process,” he added. “That doesn’t mean we’re not looking at these numbers and saying we can’t do better.”

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona issued guidance for all states regarding tests in 2021, but the agency gave each state the authority to shorten testing for any pandemic-related concerns.

Campbell said the district performance at the state level has always been a point of pride for staff and faculty. When teachers arrive on Aug. 18 to prepare for the school year, the work to implement improvements from the prior year will begin.

“We know people judge us by those numbers, and we understand we want to get better, and we have to get better,” Campbell added.

Monongalia County Schools’ first day of instruction is Aug. 23.

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