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West Virginia Makes Education Gains, SREB Report Says

News From SREB | Press Release
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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
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The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

West Virginia Students Narrow Achievement Gaps, Make Other Education Gains, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - West Virginia improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.

A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Among the highlights:

  • West Virginia served more than twice as many children in public pre-K as it had children living in poverty in 2010, helping more of its neediest children get ready for school.
  • From 2003 to 2011, West Virginia’s black fourth-grade students narrowed the achievement gap with white students in the percentage scoring at or above the Basic level in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress –– as did black eighth-graders. Black fourth-graders narrowed the gap by 5 points and black eighth-graders narrowed it by 7 points.
  • At 77 percent, West Virginia’s high school graduation rate topped the regional (75 percent) and national (76 percent) rates in 2009.
  • In 2011, the composite ACT score in West Virginia (20.6) surpassed the rate for the SREB region (20.2).
  • Black and Hispanic students in the state narrowed the gaps with white students on the ACT over the decade 2001 to 2011.
 
“These gains
are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies West Virginia has adopted are making a difference,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Education has been a top priority for SREB states. The challenge ahead is to focus on what we know works to improve public education.”

West Virginia: A Decade of Progress details the state’s demographic and income changes, school performance standards, pre-K through postsecondary student achievement, adult learning and job training, and more. Download the full PDF here.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

SREB tracks progress of its 16 member states on the Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, adopted by state leaders to help the region lead the nation in educational progress at all levels.

In addition to these state-by-state reports, in the coming weeks SREB will release analyses of region-wide progress on student achievement in NAEP scores, high school graduation rates and college completion trends. SREB expects to announce updated Goals for Education in September.

 
West Virginia: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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