July 12, 2018

CHALRESTON, W.Va. – State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine presented the 2018 State of Education during the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) meeting today. The report provided an overview of the educational activities, progress, achievements and challenges of the past school year as well as an outlook of the year to come.

The purpose of the report is to give an accurate and constructive review of public education and depict how the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and WVBE are addressing the needs of students as they prepare to enter college or the workforce.

“Many great things are happening within West Virginia’s public schools that may go unnoticed, and it is important to take time to share that information because there are so many teachers, students and communities working hard for educational success,” Paine said. “We also realize that there are significant challenges that require our continued dedicated attention and effort. For example, we’ve fought against unsatisfactory math achievement for far too long, and we have developed a comprehensive plan to address this,” Paine explained. “This and other areas of critical need are addressed within the report,” he said.

The report highlights successes achieved during the 2017-18 school year through the combined effort of many people, partnerships, agencies and communities. West Virginia has the third highest graduation rate in the country at 89.4 percent; it ranks sixth in the nation for quality and access to early education programs due to its support of Universal Pre-K; and the state’s commitment to Career and Technical Education (CTE) is resulting in more students earning industry-recognized credentials while still in high school.

The WVBE and WVDE have worked closely with Governor Jim Justice to support his vision and passion for education. This includes providing a fair and accurate accountability system for public schools, restoring control to the local level and reducing redundancies in services. These are among the measures taken to create a climate that is more conducive to school and student growth.

The WVDE has also implemented intensive programs to support students at-risk of dropping out, developed partnerships to reduce remediation at the college level and launched CTE initiatives that provide options and real-work experiences for students who prefer a career pathway.

“We continue to explore ways to meet the state’s economic demands through high-quality learning systems,” Paine said. “Working together, we are creating a culture of career readiness, skill development and proven practices that allow our education system to fuel the state’s economy and develop the emerging workforce,” he said.

The State of Education report also highlights educator preparation and leadership development and outlines public funding for education. The complete report can be found by visiting, https://wvde.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018stateofed-report.pdf.