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WV Balanced Scorecard shows low student attendance, slight improvement in academics

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Attendance is a problem in West Virginia’s public schools, according to the 2022-2023 Balanced Scorecard.

The scorecard, which measures overall student success and achievement, was released Wednesday by the state Department of Education (WVDE). Results showed attendance numbers among all grade levels including elementary, middle and high school were below state standards.

Georgia Hughes-Webb

Georgia Hughes-Webb, director of Data Analysis and Research, said it’s “disappointing” a lot of kids are missing class.

“We’re seeing a lot more chronic absenteeism than we’d like. Students have to be in school in order to be successful, so we are hopeful that some of the new attendance work that we’re undertaking and emphasizing will encourage students and families to get back to school,” she told MetroNews.

Math and reading scores were also measured. All grade levels are “partially” meeting standards in English Language Arts while middle and high schoolers are falling behind on mathematics.

Hughes-Webb said schools are still recovering from the COVID pandemic and it shows.

“We’re not quite back to the pre-COVID levels, but as with other things, post-COVID is just going to taking time to rebuild and we think that we’re on a path to build better,” she said.

The scorecard looks at academic achievement, academic progress, students’ success like behavior, attendance and suspension rates, as well as graduation rates. Each public school in the state receives a scorecard that provides parents, students, educators and communities an annual update on multiple measures that show how well students are learning, growing and achieving.

“It’s really a look at lots of different indicators that really measure how well we’re doing in helping our students succeed and challenging them to push themselves at the secondary level,” Hughes-Webb said.

There were 49 counties in the state that improved in mathematics, and 44 counties made gains in English language arts proficiency compared to the previous year, according to the WVDE.

The scorecard breaks it down by ethnicity and also looks at students who are homeless, who have a learning disability, who are in the foster care system, who are economically disadvantaged and more.

Hughes-Webb said all school districts will be looking into this data further in order to make positive changes.

“Our counties absolutely will take a look at this data, and they’ll analyze the results for their districts, schools overall, and for their different subgroups and they will take this data into consideration as they develop and revise their strategic plans to make sure that they are serving their students’ needs to the best possible extent,” she said.

To view the Balanced Scorecard Dashboard, click here.

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