The new standards have already been implemented in the state's kindergarten and first-grade classes, and second-grade teachers are rolling the program out now. By the fall of 2014, all grades 3-12 will have made the change.
However, professional development for the state's teachers has been a step ahead to prepare them in time for the switch, Hull said. This year, the training will be done through the Regional Education Service Agencies to reach more teachers efficiently.
"Every single classroom has to be touched because it's changing the entire curriculum," he said. "You can't just flip a switch."
Crystal Godbey, Kanawha County Schools assistant superintendent for instruction, presented the county Board of Education with the pros and cons reported concerning the new standards so far at a board meeting earlier this month.
While the lessons are understandable and align with college and career expectations, teachers faced issues with student pacing and achievement gaps because of a lack of prerequisite skills, Godbey told the board at a Feb. 4 meeting.
Kelly Anderson, a math teacher at Riverside High School, said the new standards help stress what teachers strive to show students every day: how what they're learning will help them in life after high school.
"This will show connections that students weren't seeing before," she said. "We always try to stress it's not necessarily the topic, but the logic and critical thinking skills, and that's the good thing about Next Generation standards. It requires kids to think on a deeper level rather than touching the surface."
Standards are only currently being changed for math and reading/language arts, but the literary assessments incorporate science and social studies, Hull said.
The standards for the other subjects are still being developed, and West Virginia will continue to use the Westest for science and social studies in the interim.
More information can be found at the West Virginia Department of Education's website (www.wvde.state.wv.us) by clicking the Next Generation icon on the right.Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.