RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS)– A new study of randomly selected students shows West Virginia students trail the nation in fourth and eighth grade reading and math.

A random sample of students from across the nation, including West Virginia, took the National Assessment of Educational Progress test. Some of the selected students had special needs or learning disabilities, according to Raleigh County school officials, and it is unclear if those students were given accommodations for their special needs.

Local school districts do not receive information on the test results and individual students. Raleigh County Schools Superintendent David Price said the test results must be used as a guidepost for teachers, since West Virginia students were affected when Covid kept them out of school.

“They weren’t in on a consistent basis,” Price said. “And I think this is just proof that students need to be in the building, and need to be in school, receiving an education. Not only the academic part but the social emotional part, of relationships with other students, has a huge impact on student achievement.”

Price emphasized schools are concerned about the test results and are working to help students overcome the COVID learning gap.