Public Education

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.

On May 14, 1982, Judge Arthur Recht handed down a legal ruling that reshaped the course of public education in West Virginia.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Education is partnering with West Virginia University and the National Institute for Early Education Research to conduct a long term study on early childhood education in the state.

The study will follow a group of three and four-year-olds beginning in West Virginia’s pre-K system this fall through the next five years of their education, tracking their achievement along the way.

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.

wikimedia Commons / user: RogDel / Sarah Gerrity / Department of Energy

Students from two Monongalia County schools are representing West Virginia in the National Science Bowl.

The event will be held Friday through next Monday at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“I have promised my children that I will do everything in my power to fix this and I believe that we finally with this bond have a chance to do that.” -Shauna Starks

Fayette County parents like Shauna Starks spoke during the West Virginia Board of Education's April meeting in favor of the county's upcoming $66.5 million bond vote.

Sweetness46 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

  Ohio County Board of Education members want to change a policy that would limit the ability of board members to teleconference into meetings. Currently, the policy allows members to call in from wherever they are. The five-member board is set to discuss whether or not meeting participation is overly restricted by distance and technology, at the next board meeting.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education voted 6-2 Thursday to adopt an amended set of science standards for West Virginia schools. The amendments came at the request of Board member and previous Board President Wade Linger.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano announced Thursday the state Department of Education will take on a full review of the state’s Next Generation Content Standards for English and math.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools have denied the requests of nearly 30 counties to waive their 180 instructional day requirement.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed two education bills Thursday, one meant to give some teachers a pay raise and another to put some restrictions on the state Board of Education when they take over a county school system.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After approving a bill to give nationally certified teachers in low performing schools a pay raise Wednesday, Democratic Senators attempted to get an across the board raise for all teachers in the state by amending a governor's bill. 

House Bill 2478 would reduce state funds dedicated to replacing county school buses one time, in the upcoming fiscal year. The bill was presented on behalf of Gov. Tomblin as a way to balance the 2016 budget.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators continue to move on a bill that would repeal Common Core standards in the state Tuesday by proposing amendments during an Education subcommittee meeting.

House Bill 2934 was approved over the weekend by the House of Delegates and called for a total repeal of the math and English standards by July 1, 2015.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate approved a bill Monday evening that allows for the creation or conversion of a public school to a public charter school in West Virginia.

A public charter school is a school that uses government funding, but is not overseen by the county Board of Education, giving the school's administrators and teachers more flexibility in how they deliver education. The schools, however, are subject to state education standards.

A former Kanawha County principal is scheduled to stand trial in March on a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a sexual assault allegation.

Former Capital High School principal Clinton Giles pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Carrie Webster scheduled Giles' trial for March 23. He will remain free on a personal recognizance bond.

The 64-year-old Giles retired after he was charged on Feb. 3.

  The West Virginia Board of Education has rescinded a proposal on teaching requirements for education science standards on climate change.

The board voted Wednesday to place the proposal back on a 30-day public comment period.

The vote came at the suggestion of Clayton Burch, the Department of Education's chief academic officer. He suggested removing the proposal will ensure that the time is taken to "get it right."

Michael Martirano
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's superintendent of schools is heading to the Eastern Panhandle this week to meet with teachers and students in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

Michael Martirano starts his road trip on Wednesday at Musselman High School in Berkeley County. He has other stops at county schools that day before moving on to Jefferson County schools on Thursday. He wraps up the tour on Friday in Morgan County.

A legal battle over the firing of West Virginia's school superintendent is heading to the state's highest court.

A Kanawha County circuit judge last month refused to dismiss former superintendent Jorea Marple's lawsuit. The Charleston Gazette reports that the West Virginia Board of Education is appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court.