State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education

The Free Press WV

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine presented the 2018 State of Education during the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) meeting today. The report provided an overview of the educational activities, progress, achievements and challenges of the past school year as well as an outlook of the year to come.

The purpose of the report is to give an accurate and constructive review of public education and depict how the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and WVBE are addressing the needs of students as they prepare to enter college or the workforce.

“Many great things are happening within West Virginia’s public schools that may go unnoticed, and it is important to take time to share that information because there are so many teachers, students and communities working hard for educational success,” Paine said. “We also realize that there are significant challenges that require our continued dedicated attention and effort. For example, we’ve fought against unsatisfactory math achievement for far too long, and we have developed a comprehensive plan to address this,” Paine explained. “This and other areas of critical need are addressed within the report,” he said.

The report highlights successes achieved during the 2017-18 school year through the combined effort of many people, partnerships, agencies and communities. West Virginia has the third highest graduation rate in the country at 89.4 percent; it ranks sixth in the nation for quality and access to early education programs due to its support of Universal Pre-K; and the state’s commitment to Career and Technical Education (CTE) is resulting in more students earning industry-recognized credentials while still in high school.

The WVBE and WVDE have worked closely with Governor Jim Justice to support his vision and passion for education. This includes providing a fair and accurate accountability system for public schools, restoring control to the local level and reducing redundancies in services. These are among the measures taken to create a climate that is more conducive to school and student growth.

The WVDE has also implemented intensive programs to support students at-risk of dropping out, developed partnerships to reduce remediation at the college level and launched CTE initiatives that provide options and real-work experiences for students who prefer a career pathway.

“We continue to explore ways to meet the state’s economic demands through high-quality learning systems,” Paine said. “Working together, we are creating a culture of career readiness, skill development and proven practices that allow our education system to fuel the state’s economy and develop the emerging workforce,” he said.

The State of Education report also highlights educator preparation and leadership development and outlines public funding for education. The complete report can be found by visiting,

Praises go to Governor Justice, Dr. Paine, and the entire State Board for producing this outstanding report.

For the first time in memory comprehensive information is included in one source for the public and it is written in an understandable

A request is made to the Gilmer County Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther to produce a similar report by this fall for the specific status of our school system.

We could celebrate achievements for which we excel and we could profit from our weak points as opportunities for corrective measures to take.

Forget about what other counties are doing—we are competing against ourselves.

The often cited excuse that we are just as good as other counties with WV ranking near bottom should no longer be tolerated.

By fall results of recent SAT testing would be available to Superintendent Lowther and the County Board to include in the report.

One advantage of the suggested County report and ones in successive years would be a basis for the public to use to judge effectiveness of Gilmer’s Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther.

The GFP is applauded for its role in being a leader in WV for making education news accessible on the Internet.

Comment by Frank Wiseman  on  07.14.2018

Wiseman’s suggestion is an opportunity for the new School Board officers, Mr. Cottril and Mr. Shakleford.

Both members campaigned on improvements they would make if elected. The most important improvement would be outstanding results with student learning outcomes in the County.

Quarterly progress reports from Mr. Cottril and Mr. Shackleford are requested.

Comment by Voters For Accountability  on  07.16.2018

What a glowing report.

Just because you say or print something, doesn’t make it true.

With a report like this, you would think WV had moved up the list from 47th in outcomes.

A few people don’t have the wool down over their eyes.

Comment by wasted lipstick on the pig.  on  07.17.2018

The lipstick comment deserves special attention. The State’s testing results verifies that too many students are not proficient in science, reading, and math. WV remains in the lower 10th among the 50 states for those areas.

Google WVZOOM Dashboard and look at State assessment scores for the GCHS. According to reports a decision was made to hire one more math teacher over there to help improve future results.

Nothing is known about what is being done to help Gilmer’s HS students with reading and science. The new Board president must get detailed information out to the public.

Assurances that everything is OK won’t work anymore. There has been too much of that type of hokum. The public knows how to access achievement information from the Internet to impose increasing accountability for our school system.

Comment by R. J. Myers  on  07.17.2018

R.J. Meyers said it—

“The new board president must get detailed information out to the public.“

Good thought.  But are you meaning the new board president, that needed help to do the simple ‘roll call’ his first meeting?

Isn’t that rich?

Don’t forget.

Gilmer County school system is still on ‘probation’ with West Virginia State Board of Education intervention rules.

Comment by R.J.Meyers said it.  on  07.19.2018

Gilmer County has a crisis on its hands with what is going on at the GCHS. It is no secret that student proficiency with math, science, and ELA must be upgraded to enable our graduates to be college and career ready.

When the public learns results of the State’s new SAT scores being kept secret it will become increasingly evident that positive changes for academic improvements must be made.

The most important change now must be to select the best qualified person to serve as the vice principal at the HS.

The person must have the best qualifications we can get to do the job. Instead of that happening it is feared that the hiring decision will be driven by pure politics and business as usual.

For too long decisions have been made in Gilmer County on the basis of who you know, how much money you have, which family you are from, and how much support there is from elitists expecting favors in return to always keep them in firm control.

Our children are suffering. Let us hope that Mrs. Lowther, the new superintendent, will help ensure that the best qualified candidate with a proven track record for improving academics will be chosen for the VP position.

Comment by Watchful Voters  on  07.26.2018

The state of education here will be affected by the quality of the deputy principal for the GCHS. We want an outstanding individual with a background in high school teaching who understands curriculum and how to use it to goose English, reading, and math. We do not want a retread or someone who must learn on the job at our expense.

We request the superintendent to post resumes of applicants for the job so we will know that the best person was selected for the vacancy.

We do not want friends of friends, relatives, or any other irrelevant criterion to be used to simply provide someone employment at the expense of children. We have had enough of that and test scores show it.

Comment by Select Best Assistant At GCHS!  on  07.26.2018
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