By Dianne Weaver

The US Chamber of Commerce, an advocate of No Child Left Behind, says its' state-by-state education report card shows that the U.S. education system is failing and putting America's future competitiveness at risk.

West Virginia, despite spending one of the largest amounts per student in the US, is ranked at 43rd.

The Chamber's Education Report Card gives the state an F for academic achievement and and F on return on investment.

The state got a D in academic achievement for low-income and minority students.

Their report says the state is not truthful about student proficiency, giving a D.

Other D grades were in post-secondary and workforce readiness and flexibility in management policy.

The state did get a C in rigor of standards and an A in management of data.

Nationwide, only about one-third of 4th and 8th graders-and well less than 20% of low-income and minority children are proficient in reading and math, a real issue in West Virginia.

Teacher quality is insufficient, says the Chamber. Data-driven innovation is far too rare. Only about two thirds of ninth graders graduate from high school in four years - and the students who do graduate are often unprepared for college and the workforce.

The Chamber says, far too long, the business community has been willing to leave education to the politicians and educators. Not anymore.

This first state by state education report card by the business community takes a hard look at where we are and what reforms are needed to secure American competitiveness in the 21st Century.

"Working diligently together, we intend to support these reforms at the local, state, and national levels," concluded the Chamber.

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