Education

Jessica Lilly

In this week’s Inside Appalachia, we take a look at first generation college students.  We’ll hear about challenges that first generation college students are going through, and how some colleges and universities are trying to help these students stay in school.

The weeks leading up to the vote on the levy were contentious in Randolph County.
Photo courtesy of Katelynn Hanek

On Saturday, Nov. 7, residents of Mineral County voted overwhelmingly for the renewal of their school levy according, to the Mineral Daily News-Tribune. Eighty-eight percent of voters supported the measure, which provides schools with $5.9 million each year for 5 years to support new textbooks, teacher salaries, transportation, libraries and facilities.

However, in Randolph County, the outcome was different as voters rejected the county's excess school levy that would have provided $2.8 million each year for five years to county schools.

West Liberty University

West Liberty University announced the selection of a new president this week. Dr. Stephen Greiner is currently the president of Hazard Community and Technical College in Kentucky, but he will take over as president at West Liberty in January.


Charleston Newspapers

What should children learn in school? It’s a question that’s stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. People planted bombs in schools, shot at buses, and shut down coal mines. This week on Inside Appalachia, we feature Charleston native Trey Kay, the host of Us and Them.

www.wvencyclopedia.org

The West Virginia Supreme Court is considering whether the state Board of Education can be sued by a former superintendent over her firing.

 The board has asked the court to overturn a circuit judge's ruling denying its request to dismiss Jorea Marple's lawsuit. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the appeal on Tuesday.

Today Concord University is celebrating a new broadcasting facility on its campus. West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Jessica Lilly, a Concord graduate who teaches at the university, spearheaded efforts to get a college radio station up and running.

The final stop of the statewide West Virginia Next Generation Standards tour will be Tuesday, September 29 at Shepherd University.

Child on high ropes
Stephen Smith

The last of our four part American Radio Works series concludes Monday, September 28 with Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools.

Kanawha County Schools

Sixteen schools in eight West Virginia counties will share more than $12,200 in grants for sustainability projects.

Veteran hanging flag
Stephen Smith

The American Radio Works series continues on WVPB radio on September 21st at 8:p.m. with a special on American Veterans with From Boots to Books: Student Veterans and the New GI Bill.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

An audit of the Department of Education’s handling of the state funding formula for public schools says the Department is miscalculating funds and has actually been underpaying some counties for the past six years.

State lawmakers approved a recalculation of the state school aid formula in 2008.

Teaching Teachers

Sep 12, 2015
Classroom
Emily Hanford

Join WVPB on Monday at 8 p.m. September 14,  for the second program in the award winning American Radio Works series.  This show is about Teaching Teachers.

Monongalia County Superintendent Frank Devono at the state Board of Education.
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Monongalia County Board of Education is asking the state school board to join them in the appeal of a lawsuit that said the county could not allocate funds to their regional education office to hire classroom teachers at hourly rates.

The West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers filed the lawsuit in 2011 claiming the county board was circumventing state hiring practices by using its RESA, or Regional Educational Service Agency, to hire interventionists, certified classroom teachers who are shared between classrooms and schools working one-on-one with low performing students. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education is moving forward with a plan to consolidate multiple schools in Fayette County. 

Fayette County is the only county in the state fully controlled by the West Virginia Board of Education. Wednesday the board approved a change to the county’s ten year facilities plan that would consolidate four of the six high schools by the fall of 2018.

The vote, however, was close at 6 to 3.

Howard University Grads
Emily Hanford

As students and teachers head back to school, West Virginia Public Radio will be airing a four part education series by American Radio Works.  Beginning Monday, August 31st at 8p.m., Living the Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century will be heard, here on WVPB.

wvencyclopedia.org

Some students at New River Community and Technical College who complete two-year degrees can transfer into a four-year program at West Virginia State University.

Officials from both schools announced an agreement Tuesday involving online and evening classes at West Virginia State.

It lets New River graduates in business administration, law enforcement and corrections complete their bachelor's degrees in business or criminal justice.

Barbour County Dept. of Education

West Virginia State Police say a suspect has been arrested after a report of someone with a gun inside a high school.

State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says the suspect was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at Philip Barbour High School.

Baylous says the incident began as a "hostage-type situation" at the school.

Cecelia Mason

Martin Keller Jr. has been named superintendent for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Keller at a special meeting Friday.

Keller himself is deaf. He'll takes his new role next month at the Romney school. He will replace Lynn Boyer, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The pension and health care benefits of thousands of coal miners could be at risk. That’s if a Virginia bankruptcy judge allows Patriot Coal to end a collective bargaining agreement with the United Mine Workers of America, but members of the union made it clear Monday, they’re not going to lose those benefits without a fight.

 

A new type of learning will be the focus of a consolidated elementary school in Cabell County. Although they won't be in their new building until spring, parents and teachers say expeditionary learning will make a difference for their students.

It’s well known throughout circles in West Virginia that the state’s public education system lags behind nationally, ranking 48th, according to the US Census Bureau. There’s also a lot of talk throughout the state about the need for re-education and economic diversification in the state for adults.

As coal miners continue to lose their jobs, some are looking to education as a tool for new opportunities. But starting from the bottom or starting over isn’t easy.

One adult educator, a former coal miner from Boone County, just wrote a book that offers guidance. While author David Greene says this book should appeal to adult educators, it’s also meant to help individuals outside of the classroom.


Preliminary test scores released by the West Virginia Department of Education show students who have been taught under the state’s Common Core standards since kindergarten are exceeding national estimates when it comes to testing.

West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia’s Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead have sent a letter to two national organizations rescinding the state’s 2009 agreement over the Common Core standards.

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.

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