West Virginia received an “A” under the Standards and Accountability section of the report. The high mark is because of West Virginia’s addition of standards-based exams, called the WESTEST, at all grade levels in math, science and social studies. West Virginia is one of 14 states to have such exams in every core subject and grade span.
West Virginia also received an “A” under the Resources section. Nearly 75 percent of students in the state are in districts that spend at least the national average per pupil. West Virginia spent $8,400 per student in the 2000 – 01 school year.
West Virginia received a “B-” under both Improving Teacher Quality and School Climate. Quality Counts reports that the state requires its teachers to pass a full battery of tests to earn their initial licenses and West Virginia also outperforms other states in the level of positive parent involvement.
“The Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the Board of Education have been working together to improve the quality of education for all the students in West Virginia,” said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. “Obviously, this collaborative effort is paying off.”
In addition, Quality Counts reports that a higher percentage of students in West Virginia attend small schools at the elementary, middle and high schools levels. For example, the average elementary class size in the state is smaller than most nationwide classrooms, at 19.4 pupils. Education Week is a weekly education publication distributed nationwide. The eighth annual Quality Counts report was compiled with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts.