WVDE Embraces High Need Populations

June 06, 2006

Charleston, W.Va. – State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine leads a newly developed task force to eliminate student achievement gaps in high need populations. Paine has challenged the Task Force to Improve Results for High Need Populations to design a strategic plan by July 31, 2006, with the goal of increasing student achievement for students with unique learning needs related to disability, economic disadvantage and cultural differences.  

“West Virginia is committed to helping all students – African-American, white, poor, non-English speaking, special education – learn and succeed in the fiercely competitive global economy,” said Paine. “I expect this task force to tackle the issues facing high need students and build a powerful plan that gets to the core of what students need as they develop into 21st century citizens.”  

The task force will develop a strategic plan that addresses the following work:  

-Direct and sustained professional development for teachers of these populations;  

-Replication of research based programs that have proven successful for teaching students fundamental reading/language arts and mathematics skills; and  

-Ongoing student specific progress monitoring for high need populations that reflects appropriate expectations over the next three years.  

Members of the Task Force to Improve Results for High Need Populations include educators and community members who bring both broad knowledge of the challenges faced by students in high need populations as well as the practical knowledge of implementing programs that serve these same students.  

“We must find solutions for all students to acquire the skills that will make them competitive in this 21st century. Working together with community groups that have a long history of advocacy for these populations gives me confidence that we can make a difference,” added Paine.  

For more information on the Task Force to Improve Results for High Need Populations contact the West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.

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