The 2018 State of Education address was delivered earlier today and the statistics show significant progress and activity.
As of 2016, West Virginia ranks 3rd in highest national graduation rate, with an 89.4% high school graduation rate in 2017, 54.5% enrolling in post-secondary education.
During the address, Department of Education State Superintendent, Dr. Steven L. Paine said, school breakfast participation is another success West Virginia schools have seen, coming in at 1st place nationally.
However, while the department applauds the successes, they are also open to facing the remaining challenges that still persist, specifically mathematics student achievement.
“I just refuse to believe that our kids can’t learn math as well as other kids in other states and other school districts, and so we are dissecting the entire mathematics delivery structure from public ed to higher ed, and every aspect that affects mathematics construction and we’re going to change it,” said Paine.
The department declares mathematics to be a main focus for this school year because many jobs require a strong mathematics background. The strengthening of the arts branch in STEAM education is also on the list.
“Sometimes I get the impression that being able to critically think, being able to collaborate in a team, those are more important skills than some of the academic skills, and so I don’t think those skills are taught necessarily if we’re just preparing kids to take tests. I don’t think that’s what business industry really expects out of us,” said Paine.
They also will work to improve overall test scores that continue to grow over the years.