West Virginia Makes The Grade In Science

December 13, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - West Virginia has the right formula for improving science standards. In a recent report released by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, West Virginia has gone from among the worst in the nation to the most improved.  

West Virginia, which had previously scored an “F” in 2000, earned a “B” for its strengthened content standards in elementary and high schools in the State of State Science Standards 2005 report. According to the report, the state performed well covering the physical sciences and most life sciences but fell short with chemistry, earth and space sciences and environmental science.  

“We are pleased with these marks, but we know there is more work to be done if our students are going to compete in a 21st century global economy,” said State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine. “This report tells us that we are on the right track and we will continue to build our Content Standards and Objectives.”  

The West Virginia Board of Education adopted new science standards in 2003. These standards were developed by a team of science teachers who worked on them for two years.  

State of State Science Standards 2005 report is the first comprehensive study of science academic standards conducted since 2000. It appraised the quality of each state’s K-12 science standards as they are trying to meet the No Child Left Behind Act’s mandate for testing this core subject.  

While West Virginia scored fairly well, 15 states failed and seven earned “D” grades. Nine states and the District of Columbia received “C” marks.  

For more information about science education in West Virginia, contact Michael Kees, science education coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805.

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