Brooke, Cabell, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, Putnam and Wood counties have received the “What Parents Want” award from SchoolMatch. The nationally recognized public school database in Columbus, Ohio, helps workers who are transferred find schools for their children in their new communities. The 10 counties also received the award in 2004 and 2005.
Only 2,504 of the nation’s 15,573 public school districts have been recognized for meeting the needs of families choosing schools when relocating. That’s just 16 percent of school districts across the country.
The award is based on information obtained from county assessors, auditors, state taxing authorities, state departments of education and other sources.
“Education is an important consideration when businesses look to locate in West Virginia and elsewhere, said State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine. “Businesses know education is the key to economic development in the 21st century. These counties should be proud for their commitment to excellence.”
More than 97,000 parents who answered questionnaires said they look at test scores, accreditation and recognition for excellence by a national foundation or the U.S. Department of Education. Parents also want small classes, competitive teacher salaries and above average spending on instruction and library/media services.
Corporations and consumers use SchoolMatch when moving across town, up-grading residences, relocating to a new area and for general information about schools. School administrators use the database to focus on goals for school system improvement based upon the performance of the schools. More than 7 million parents have used the service.
“Many parents now want to shop for a public school just as they do for consumer products,” said SchoolMatch President William Bainbridge.