'Quality Counts' Report: State Receives Highest Marks for Fourth Straight Year

January 12, 2000

For the fourth year in a row, West Virginia posted the highest education marks of any state in the "Quality Counts" report released today by Education Week, American Education's Newspaper of Record. West Virginia shared top honors with Indiana in the study that evaluates the states on standards and accountability, improving teacher quality, school climate, and adequacy, allocation and equity of resources.  

"West Virginia is a rising star in the education firmament,"said State Superintendent Dr. Henry Marockie. "It is a credit to the entire state -- educators, parents, business leaders and lawmakers -- that West Virginia has been able to achieve this number one ranking in four consecutive national reports."  

West Virginia earned a B+ for standards and accountability (15th in the nation); a C+ (6th in the nation) for improving teacher quality; a D for school climate (18th in the nation--no state earned an A in this category and only one state-Connecticut-earned a B); an A in adequacy of resources (2nd in the nation); a C- in allocation of resources (21st in the nation); and a B+ (2nd in the nation) for equity of resources.  

Education Week noted that "teachers' salaries are rising and so are students' scores on national tests." The journal applauded West Virginia for raising teacher salaries, providing incentives to educators to earn national board certification and making it easier for out-of-state teachers to earn a license, all in an effort to improve the quality of its teaching force. In addition to charting the progress of all 50 states toward education improvement, the report also looked at what states are doing to attract, screen and retain competent teachers.  

West Virginia was one of 39 states that require prospective teachers to pass a basic skills test, and one of just 29 states that require high school teachers to pass tests in the subjects they plan to teach.  

West Virginia was one of just 27 states that have web sites that list teacher vacancies and one of only nine that permit teachers to submit resumes, applications or related personnel information electronically.  

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Education Week magazine : Quality Counts 2000 Report