Education Dashboard

Welcome to the West Virginia Chamber's Education Dashboard. This page is designed to provide easy-to-understand information about the state of public education in West Virginia. Below are several categories and statistics pertaining to student and school performance, public education funding, teacher salaries, state education attainment levels, and state laws. For your convenience, the data has been broken into categories. To view a particular statistic, simply click the link and use your cursor to view the interactive information.

All data is gathered from impartial and reputable sources. West Virginia's students of today are our leaders of tomorrow. It is essential that we do all we can to ensure they are prepared to enter the workforce and prepare to lead us into the future.

 

 

Ensuring that students receive a top-notch education is the primary mission of public education in West Virginia and the goal of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. One broadly recognized measurement for how students are performing and progressing in their education is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), that is administered every two years. This test is administered nation-wide, and the most important data points are Mathematics and Reading in both the 4th and 8th Grade. Below are several links that will allow you to open up interactive maps and see how West Virginia students compare with students in different states. For the NAEP scores, the statistic measured is the percent of students who are considered "at or above proficient" in the particular subject.

2017 NAEP Results - 4th Grade Math

2017 NAEP Results - 8th Grade Math

2017 NAEP Results - 4th Grade Reading

2017 NAEP Results - 8th Grade Reading

You can also explore NAEP results for yourself by clicking here.


 

Measuring student performance is key in determining how an education system is performing, but so is measuring schools as a whole. Recently, the West Virginia Department of Education released the WV Balanced Scorecard, which tracks all public schools' English Language Arts and Mathematics performance. Academic performance points are awarded in a progressive manner to correspond to student achievement levels, and school performance is based on the percentage of points earned by students on a 125-point scale. Schools are then given the following ratings:

  • Exceeds Standard (80% to 100%)
  • Meets Standard (65% to 80%)
  • Partially Meets Standard (50% to 65%)
  • Does Not Meet Standard (Less than 50%)

To see the percent of schools at each achievement level, please click the links below to view interactive graphics. You can also explore the WV Balanced Scorecard in detail by clicking here.

High School Mathematics

High School English

Middle School Mathematics

Middle School English Language Arts

Elementary School Mathematics

Elementary School English Language Arts

Additionally, each year U.S. News and World Report publishes its Best High Schools report that lists the top high schools in each state and their rank within the nation. Currently, Morgantown High School is West Virginia's top high school with a ranking of #1,517 in the country. Only four states - Hawaii, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota - have a top ranked high school with a lower national ranking than Morgantown High. Below is a link to an interactive map to see the name of each state's best high school and its national ranking.

US News & World Report Best High Schools in Each State


 

West Virginia is one of the top funders of public education on a per pupil basis in the country. According to data from the National Education Association (NEA) and the WV Department of Education, West Virginia ranks 16th in nation with a per pupil expenditure of $12,250. Additionally, nearly 44% of West Virginia's General Revenue Budget is dedicated to public K-12 education, far outpacing any other functions of government.

Despite this, teacher pay remains among the lowest in the nation, and student performance continues to lag behind students in most other states. The interactive graphics below help highlight how money is spent on public education in West Virginia, and we hope this invites a robust conversation on how to more effectively spend West Virginia's heavy investment in education.

Average Salary of Teachers

Per Pupil Spending by State

Breakdown of WV General Revenue Budget

**The most recent report from the NEA states that West Virginia’s per pupil expenditure is $14,274 – ranking West Virginia 14th in the nation. The West Virginia Department of Education disputes that figure and has stated that the expenditures reported to the NEA by the Department were in error, and that updated expenditures have been provided. Following communication with the WVDE, who showed what was originally reported vs. what should have been reported, the West Virginia Chamber has recalculated the per pupil expenditure figure to be $12,250. We believe this calculation maintains an apples to apples comparison with other states. West Virginia’s new per-pupil expenditure ranks 16th in the nation.**


 

For employers who are considering locating or expanding operations, information such as the educational attainment of a population are at the forefront of the decision-making process. Employers must be able to hire qualified workers in order to be successful. Improving West Virginia's standing among other states in the percent of the population with high school diplomas, bachelors degrees and advanced degrees is critical. Below is a snapshot of where our state currently stands, as well as information on how surrounding states and the nation as a whole compare.

Percent of Population with High School Diploma or Equivalent

Percent of Population with Bachelors Degree or Higher

Percent of Population with Graduate Degree or Higher


 

The method by which public education is administered in West Virginia is frequently determined by what is in state law. For example, West Virginia law does not permit public charter schools, even though charter schools are found in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, compensation for teachers is almost wholly determined by the Statewide Minimum Salary Schedule in state code. This method does not allow for flexibility in recognizing local economic factors, making it more difficult to retain quality teachers who can easily cross into a border county in another state for significantly more pay. Over thirty other states have recognized this issue and have therefore not adopted a statewide pay scale and entrust local education districts to ensure competitiveness in attracting and retaining teachers.

In 2012, an audit of West Virginia's public education system was completed by Public Works LLC. The auditors noted that they had, "encountered no other state that insulates its education system so much from gubernatorial - or voter - control; restricts local initiative so much on the part of the districts, building principals, and teachers; and vests so much authority for education at the state level." The independent report concluded that, "West Virginia has one of the most highly regulated systems in the country - if not the most - with many details of school operations spelled out in code."

These are just a few examples of where West Virginia law is an outlier, and the information below allows you to compare West Virginia's teacher pay restrictions and laws with the other 49 states.

States with Statewide Teacher Salary Schedules

States that Allow Charter Schools

How State School Board Members are Chosen Across the Country

How Chief State School Officers are Chosen Across the Country