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Education Needs To Be Front and Center

Education Needs To Be Front and Center Local students will be back in the classroom in the coming week as the school year begins for the public schools in West Virginia. We wish them a safe healthy and successful school year unaffected by external influences. We hope that teachers and administrators are ready in their efforts to heal from the losses in learning due to ineffective remote platforms that were used during the COVID-19 epidemic. We hope that the students are prepared to go back to their normal routine of learning.

The last couple of years has certainly negatively impacted students. An examination of the most recent statewide assessment test information, released this month, reveals that there is still a lot of work to be done to set our children up on the path to the brighter future they deserve.

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Look at some of the state-wide figures:

Only 15% of the students who were tested in grades 3-8 and grade 11 also exceeded the math standard, as well as another 17% of them, met the standards. This is one-third of the West Virginia students tested who have a high proficiency in math.

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Students across the state performed somewhat better with reading with 15% of students exceeding the norm and 27% achieving the standard, with 42 percent of proficiency.

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Science is the state’s most difficult subject with 9 percent of the student’s test subjects meeting the standards for proficiency and 19% of them were able to meet the standards.

Those are unacceptable numbers. We shouldn’t base our future state’s prosperity on kids who struggle with science and math which are the foundation of jobs that could fuel an economic boom for West Virginia. We need to improve and expect to do higher standards, and there has to be the responsibility of teachers, administrators, and parents to make sure what happens.

Locally, students are still struggling to recover from the loss of knowledge due to the pandemic. In just three local high schools, below is the information:

At Wheeling Park High School, 24% of students in the 11th grade achieved or exceeded the proficiency standard in math. In addition, 58% of them met or exceeded the standards in reading, and 30% of them excelled in science.

In John Marshall High School 21 percent of the 11th graders achieved or exceeded their proficiency in math. 57% of students met or beat the required reading level and 34% did so in science.

In Brooke High School, just 18% of students in 11th grade were proficient or better in math. In addition, 44% achieved or over-performed in reading, and 21% of students met or exceeded the standard of proficiency in science.

Why do our high schoolers struggle in science and math? And how can they go into the workforce or to college without the fundamental knowledge to become productive citizens of the world?

The public deserves straight and honest answers to these questions from school administrators in the local area.

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