Paine believes consistency in policy is key to raise NAEP scores

WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine says it’s going to take consistency and accountability to see improvement in the state’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores.

Paine appeared on a recent episode of MetroNews ‘Talkline’ to discuss the NAEP results that showed the Mountain State to be one of three states to have a significant drop in fourth-graders’ math scores.

He cited research by Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education Linda Darling-Hammond, by saying that it takes three years for state policy to impact state achievement. Paine has been in the position since April 2017, saying the results reflect the policies in place in 2016.

Paine further said that he heard during the recent educational listening tours that keeping the same goals in place hasn’t been done in years.

“I wish I had a nickel every time somebody said ‘Could you just leave us alone in terms of the stability. Keep our standards where they are, keep our assessments where they are, keep our accountability system where it is, the balanced scorecard, and don’t change it for about five or six years so we know how to play by the rules,’” he said.

Mississippi has seen steady gains in NAEP scores and has had the same state superintendent and board of education for six years, according to Paine. Mississippi averaged 241 on the 500-point scale for fourth-grade testing, one point above the national average.

West Virginia’s 2019 average score for fourth-graders totaled 231, the lowest score for the state since 2005. Paine said on ‘Talkline’ that the state will see increases in the 2021 results, as the test results are shown every two years.