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Student Math Improvement Initiatives Are Adding Up

December 20, 2004

Charleston, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education is lining up allies in its battle against poor math scores at every grade level. The Center for Professional Development's (CPD) Professional Development Master Plan for 2005 - 2006 focuses on one area - math. The state Board discussed the plan during its December Board meeting in Charleston late last week.  

The CPD recognizes that mathematics is the greatest content area need for all students in West Virginia. State assessment data from all levels point to mathematics as the only area for consideration as a professional development work objective.  

In addition to the CPD's commitment to mathematics professional development for teachers, the Board of Education recently approved a Five Year Math Plan for West Virginia. The Five Year Plan was developed by the West Virginia Department of Education and several other stakeholders in the education community. The West Virginia Department of Education Math Task Force studied the national research and the needs of West Virginia students. The Task Force developed the Five Year Plan to improve mathematics scores for all students, K-16, in our state. The goals of the plan are (1) to provide every student at every level the opportunity to take higher-level mathematics, and (2) to increase teacher quality, improve student achievement and impact school improvement in every county of West Virginia.  

Board members, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education have also partnered in the fight against low math test scores. Concerns regarding the number of freshman college students who are required to take remedial courses were highlighted during the December Board meeting.  

"If West Virginia math scores are ever going to lead the nation all education stakeholders have to work together," said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. "I am excited that k-12 and higher education are on the same team. We are not dodging the issue of poor math scores on both state and national assessments. We are going to attack this problem the same way we did regarding our reading scores several years ago. We have new, rigorous graduation requirements and math credit requirements. We will get the job done."  

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