National report ranks West Virginia education in top 10
A national report gave the West Virginia public education system the ninth best grade among states on an annual ranking even though it again scored an "F" in one of the six categories, student achievement.
The "Quality Counts 2013" report, released Thursday by the national publication "Education Week" and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, gives West Virginia a "B-minus" grade. That's ninth best in the nation and a notch above the "C-plus" national average.
The report measures six categories: school finance; transitions and alignment; chance for success; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments and accountability; and teaching profession. Researchers only update the results of half of those categories every year, an Education Week representative said today.
West Virginia's most glaring grade was the "F" it received in achievement. Although that's the same grade it received last year, and the researchers did not update the information in the category this year, state superintendent Jim Phares said it's still "disturbing."
"Improving student academic performance is the focus of all the state's education stakeholders and together we are determined to improve," Phares said in a news release.
The new results for this year's report were in the school finance, "chance for success" and "transitions and alignments" category.
West Virginia received an "A-minus" in school finance, second best in the nation.
"Due to a large and widely reported increase in per-pupil funding levels, West Virginia's score climbed more than 11 points in the past year, raising its grade from a C-plus to an A-minus," according to Education Week's news release on the report.
The "chance for success" category measures factors like family income and parent education that show the role of education in a person's life, according to the report. West Virginia received a "C-minus" in the category, similar to last year's mark, according to a news release from the Department of Education. The score is 46th in the nation.
The "transitions and alignments" category measures how a state's education policies link all facets of public and early education with postsecondary education and the workforce. West Virginia's rank fell from an "A" to a "B-plus" in 2013, according to the department news release.
The other two categories with results that did not change from last year are the teaching professions and standards, assessments and accountability rankings.
West Virginia received a "C-plus" in teaching profession and an "A" in standards, assessments and accountability.
This is the 17th year for the report. Researchers surveyed more than 1,300 teachers for the report, which also compiles national opinions on how school atmosphere impacts student success.
More information about West Virginia's scores and the report is available at www.edweek.org.