Education

Author: Women in STEM are More than Marie Curie

Jul 15, 2015
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.

Tax Reform Efforts Continue at W.Va. Capitol

May 19, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

Is Teach for America Right for West Virginia?

May 12, 2015
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.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new program through the West Virginia Department of Education is taking state government issued computers and turning them into training tools for students of all ages.

The WVDE introduced the program Friday called Second Launch WV, a partnership with the West Virginia Office of Technology.

Second Launch takes computers that are being cycled out of use at state agencies, like the Department of Corrections or Division of Highways, cleans out their databases and places the refurbished desktops in classrooms across the state.

Teams of 8th grade students from around West Virginia will face off Tuesday in an academic bowl competition that focuses on West Virginia history, literature, arts, architecture, geography and culture.

The questions for the history bowl are largely drawn from questions found in the Archives and History Quick Quizzes and Daily Trivia.

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 radio documentary was honored with Peabody, Murrow and DuPont/Columbia awards. 

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

West Liberty University / via Facebook

West Liberty University's Faculty Senate has voted no confidence in another administrator.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports the Faculty Senate approved the no confidence vote in chief financial officer Jack Wright on Wednesday during a closed meeting.

Golden Horseshoe
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

More than 220 eighth graders are being honored as winners of the Golden Horseshoe Award for their knowledge of West Virginia history and culture.   

A ceremony is set for Friday at the state Culture Center in Charleston to recognize the top-scoring students in each county.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is simplifying its tuition and fee structure.

The university Board of Governors on announced the move Wednesday.

Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Heuton says Marshall will eliminate all off-campus and regional campus fees and most fees for courses and labs. Instead, fees will be based on their specific degree programs.

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