W.Va. Assistant Superintendent Named to National Task Force

May 25, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ An assistant superintendent with the West Virginia Department of Education is one of 27 educators named to a new national task force on math and science education.  

Jorea Marple, who heads the state division of curriculum and instructional services, was named Wednesday to the task force created by Council of Chief State School Officers.  

The task force will work to improve math and science education from preschool through 12th grade, focusing particularly at the middle and high school levels.  

“Math and science skills are critical if our students are to succeed in the 21st century,” Marple said. ”I’m honored to be part of this national effort to improve math and science education.”  

Task force members, made up chief state school officers, deputies, practitioners, business representatives and researchers, were nominated by education leaders in their states. The group is headed by Judy Jeffrey, Iowa’s director of education, and Patricia Wright, acting superintendent of public instruction in Virginia.  

"It is vital that we have a task force that looks closely at the critical issues of math and science,” said Delaware’s Valerie Woodruff, president of the Council of Chief State School Officers. “We have a strong and diverse group of practitioners and research experts to lead this important work."  

The formation of the task force coincides with the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress science results for 2005. NAEP scores are used to compare student achievement nationwide and to track changes in achievement of fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-graders over time in mathematics, reading, writing, science and other subjects.  

West Virginia fourth grade students increased their science score to 151 in 2005 from 149 in 2000. The West Virginia score is also higher than the national score of 149.  

West Virginia eighth grader increased their scores in 2005 to 147, compared to 146 in 2000. The national average score in 2005 also was 147.  

The West Virginia Department of Education has put an additional emphasis on increasing the rigor of science curriculum for all students.  

The task force will first meet June 7 in Washington, D.C.

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