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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.

Virginia Outperforms Nation in Reading and Math Achievement, Makes Other Education Gains, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - 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:

  • Virginia’s fourth- and eighth-graders outperformed the nation on reading and math achievement at the Basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2011.
  • From 2003 to 2011, Virginia’s black fourth-graders narrowed the achievement gap in reading at the NAEP Basic level — as did fourth-graders from low-income families. Black and Hispanic fourth-graders and black and Hispanic eighth-graders also narrowed the gaps in math –– as did fourth- and eighth-graders from low-income families.
  • In 2011, the percentages of fourth- and eighth-graders in Virginia who scored at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading and math exceeded the national rates for their peers.
  • At 78 percent, Virginia’s high school graduation rate topped the regional (75 percent) and national (76 percent) rates in 2009.
  • The student participation rate in Advanced Placement in Virginia exceeded the national rate. In 2011, 40 percent of the state’s graduating seniors had taken at least one AP exam in high school, up 14 percentage points from 2001.
  • Virginia’s recent high school graduates enrolled in college at a rate (67 percent) equal to their regional and national peers in 2010.
  • In 2010, the on-time college graduation rate at public four-year institutions in the state was 68 percent — topping the 56 percent national rate.
  • Thirty-six percent of working-age adults had a bachelor’s degree or higher in Virginia in 2010 — topping the 30 percent national rate.
 
“These gains
are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies 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.”

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.

 
Virginia: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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