CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The newly-released National Assessment of Educational Progress results for 2022 show the Mountain State trailing in 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores, and the state’s chamber of commerce says something must be done.

According to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the report is usually released every other year, but this is the first time the assessment has been released since 2019 due to the pandemic. The national scores include results for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity along with the 50 states.

The report lists West Virginia’s NAEP scores as:

  • West Virginia’s 4th Grade Reading score at 205, which is 11 points below the national average of 216. The report shows the state’s achievement level percentages as 52% at or above basic and 22% at or above proficient, both below the respective national averages of 61% and 32%.
    • Only Alaska and New Mexico scored lower. There was no data for Puerto Rico.
    • West Virginia’s score was 213 in 2019, when the national average was 219.
  • West Virginia’s 4th Grade Math score at 226, which is nine points below the national average of 235. The report shows the state’s achievement level percentages as 67% at or above basic and 23% at or above proficient, both below the respective national averages of 74% and 35%.
    • West Virginia, Alaska and Delaware received the same score, and only the District of Columbia, New Mexico and Puerto Rico scored lower.
    • West Virginia’s score was 231 in 2019, when the national average was 240.
  • West Virginia’s 8th Grade Reading score at 249, which is 10 points below the national average of 259. The report shows the state’s achievement level percentages as 60% at or above basic and 22% at or above proficient, both below the respective national averages of 68% and 29%.
    • Only New Mexico scored lower than West Virginia, and there was no data for Puerto Rico.
    • West Virginia’s score was 256 in 2019, when the national average was 262.
  • West Virginia’s 8th Grade Math score at 260, which is 13 points below the national average of 273. The report shows the state’s achievement level percentages as 48% at or above basic and 15% at or above proficient, both below the respective national averages of 60% and 26%.
    • The District of Columbia received the same score as West Virginia, and only New Mexico and Puerto Rico scored lower.
    • West Virginia’s score was 272 in 2019, when the national average was 281.

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts says the chamber has been tracking the NAEP scores since 2003, with a specific focus on the “at or above proficient” benchmark to determine how many students are grasping the core Reading and Math subjects.

“Today’s information was disheartening,” Roberts said. “Our West Virginia students and their teachers are among our most precious assets. These results should alert us to the steep challenges facing educators and students. We must seek solutions that are good for our children and that enable teachers to teach effectively. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping improve education throughout our state. These scores clearly show something must urgently change.”