Education

West Virginia University

West Virginia University is teaming up once again with the University of Rome Tor Vergata for this year’s 2015 Solar Decathlon home-building competition.

The team is tasked with designing, building and operating an energy-efficient, solar-powered house. The winning entry must produce as much or more energy than it consumes, and must be attractive and environmentally friendly.

Shepherd University Sign
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced $274,000 in grants for two projects in West Virginia.

The recipients are Shepherd University and the nonprofit West Virginia University Research Corp.

They are part of nearly $37 million in grants for 212 humanities projects nationwide.

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports from Harpers Ferry where businesses are working to rebuild after a devastating fire last week.  Also, Ashton Marra has the latest about the Congressional debate over the No Child Left Behind Act.

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In early 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, a sweeping education reform bill. The new law required all states to test all children and set federal benchmarks for student achievement in order to receive federal funding. 

West Virginia implemented the reforms and West Virginia Department of Education Chief Accountability Officer Michelle Blatt said the state did see some incremental improvements under the law. Still, she said, one size fits all from Washington did not work in West Virginia. 

“It didn’t matter if you started in one place and really grew a long way," she said, "there were still sanctions if you didn’t meet the bar that they set.”

 

Now, some 13 years later, members of Congress are thinking of turning that legislation on its head by passing a reauthorization that is essentially a rewrite. 

Jodyperry / wikimedia Commons

Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College are banning tobacco use on their shared campus.

Both schools' governing boards have approved adoption of a tobacco-free, smoke-free and vapor-free campus. The Times West Virginian reports that the new policy is effective Aug. 1.

Pierpont Board of Governors chairman James Griffin says the board wanted to create a healthier environment for students.

Love Krittaya, Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia’s 55 schools districts can now apply for state funding to help combat excessive absences in public schools.

 

The West Virginia Department of Education is accepting applications from county boards of education for funding to hire a local truancy diversion specialist.

Those county level specialists will work directly with students who have the highest number of absences, providing them individual attention to get them back in the classroom.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Rachel Swaby took the stage at the Walker Theater in Charleston as a part of the Higher Education Policy Commission's Division of Science and Research STEM Speaker Series. Swaby, a freelance journalist, published her first book in April titled "Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science- and the World."

"I think it’s easy to say, oh Marie Curie and just check that 'you’ve talked about a woman in science' box, but we should have a breadth of knowledge of many women who have done many amazing things,” Swaby said before her June talk. 


Sweetness46 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio County Board of Education has ended the practice of allowing members to call in to meetings, collecting $160 for participating each time they do.

The Intelligencer reports that the board voted 3-2 Monday to abolish the policy.

The school district's attorney and the board consulted the state Ethics Commission ahead of the vote. The panel concluded that government bodies do not have to allow phone participation by members.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education has a new president in retired Morgantown businessman Mike Green, but his nomination and subsequent election Thursday came with a small spark of controversy.

Green, the board’s current Vice President, replaces former First Lady Gayle Manchin as the body’s leader. Manchin completed her second term as board president Thursday, holding the post since July 2013. Her nine year term as a member of the board expires in November.

Green will be joined at the head of the table by former state Sen. Lloyd Jackson who was elected Vice President and Tina Combs who was re-elected to her seat as Secretary.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of 24 high school girls from across West Virginia are spending the week on the campus of WVU Tech in Montgomery, designing shoes and testing mock samples for the AIDS virus.

The girls are participating in WVU Tech’s first ever all girls STEM camp, short for science, technology, engineering and math.

National Youth Science Foundation / Canaan Valley Institute

After four months of waiting, the National Youth Science Foundation has acquired a research and education center in Tucker County.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has approved tuition and fee increases sought by West Virginia University, Potomac State College of WVU and West Virginia State University.

The commission voted on the increases at its regular meeting Monday.

In a news release, the commission said the board voted 5-2 to approve WVU's plan to increase in-state undergraduate tuition and fees by 9.7 percent for the 2015-2016 academic year. Out-of-state undergraduate costs will increase by 4.9 percent.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lunch Buses started up Tuesday in Jefferson County bringing meals to children and seniors at designated locations. But on the first day, things didn’t go quite as planned.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The battle over Common Core continued at the statehouse Sunday during the Legislature’s June interim meetings. The national education standards were once again the topic of discussion for the Joint Education Committee.

It started with presentations by two Common Core opponents, Angie Summers, head of West Virginians Against Common Core, and Bonnie Henthorn, a member of the Tyler County Board of Education who said she was presenting her concerns as a parent.

Both Summers and Henthorn said West Virginia’s version of Common Core, called the Next Generation Content standards, weren’t rigorous enough to prepare students for college or career, but complained parents are not able to help their children with their homework. Both women also expressed concerns over data collection associated with the Smarter Balance Assessment, the standardized test aligned with the standards.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report released this week shows students in West Virginia with disabilities are graduating from high school at a greater percentage than the national average. 


West Virginia Board of Education

On Wednesday, members of the West Virginia Board of Education traveled to Frankfort, Kentucky, to meet with their education counterparts and watch as the Kentucky BOE conducted their monthly meeting. Thursday West Virginia Board President Gayle Manchin said the two states have plenty in common.

It starts with standards. Kentucky and West Virginia are just two of forty four states that have adopted the national Common Core Standards, but in West Virginia, those standards were adapted to fit the state’s needs and titled the Next Generation Standards.

Then there’s economics. In eastern Kentucky especially where coal mining is a major part of the economy, the state is suffering the same economic downturn as West Virginia in the energy sector, but there’s much more according to Manchin.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Higher Education Policy Commission met at Shepherd University Friday to discuss tuition increases and a new reverse transfer policy.

Members of the Joint Committee on Tax Reform continued their work at the Capitol this week reviewing the state's current tax code and looking for ways to improve it. The Monday session brought national policy and tax experts to Charleston to review what other states have done in the areas of reform.

Shay Maunz / West Virginia Focus

During the 2015 Legislative session lawmakers approved, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed, a bill allowing alternative training methods for teachers who head West Virginia classrooms.

While the bill sets forth specific requirements for those teachers, like having a bachelor's degree and setting up a work agreement with the county school system, what it essentially does is allow the controversial program Teach for America to operate in the state.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle tried two separate times to aid the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind during the 2015 legislative session. The schools are struggling to maintain their buildings, some of which are more than 100 years, and looked to the Legislature this year to begin to help them meet their facilities goals. 

Those goals, contained in the schools' 10 year Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan, including closing and demolishing some buildings on campus to create a "stronger sense of community," according to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Boyer. 

The plan includes updated housing for residential students, increased building security and the installation of fire and sprinkler systems suitable for deaf and hearing impaired and blind and visually impaired students and teachers. The plan, however, comes with a $42 million price tag.


Pages