Public Education

West Virginia Morning
10:28 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Burwell Faces Second Hearing, Schools Getting Their Own Grades & National Geography Bee

Sylvia Mathew Burwell faces her second confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee and receives an endorsement from a key republican.  The State Board of Education adopts a new A through F grading system to give parents a better understanding of how well their child's school is performing. Also, a Morgantown student heads to the National Geography Bee for the third time. 

Public Education
10:23 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

New Policy Requires A Through F Grade for West Virginia Schools

State Board of Education Vice President Mike Green, President Gayle Manchin and Superintendent Dr. James Phares at the May meeting in Charleston.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Parents across the state may soon have a better understanding of how their child’s school is fairing thanks to a new grading system adopted Monday by the state Board of Education.

The change comes after a directive from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin during his State of the State Address in January. In his address, he specifically called on the board to implement and A through F grading scale.

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Online Tuition Changes
8:25 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Online Courses Help High School Students Get Ahead

Credit Wikipedia /

Marshall University is reducing tuition rates for some high school students taking online college courses this summer.
Marshall says up to 30 students will pay 25 dollars per credit hour instead of the regular online fee, which will be 134 dollars per credit hour this fall.
Marshall is offering nearly 50 courses in the high school program this summer. Among them are math, history, geography, journalism, economics and music.  Class materials are included with each course.

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Education Outcomes
10:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

W.Va. High School Seniors Rank Worst in Reading, Math in 13 States

A new report shows West Virginia high school seniors had the worst reading scores of students sampled in 13 states last year - and were tied for worst in math.

Wednesday's national assessment conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or nation's report card, did show that test scores had improved in West Virginia in recent years.

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7:58 am
Tue April 29, 2014

W.Va. Authority Awards $43 Million for School Projects

School Building Authority Executive Director Mark Manchin
Credit School Building Authority

 The West Virginia School Building Authority has awarded more than $43 million for construction projects in seven counties. The grants approved Monday include more than $12 million for a new elementary school in Gilmer County. Mingo, Monongalia and Wayne counties each received more than $8 million for school projects.

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Public Education
10:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Council to Improve STEM Education in W.Va.

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is assembling a council of education and industry leaders to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities in West Virginia.

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Superintendent Fired
9:57 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Former Schools Chief Federal Lawsuit Dismissed

Dr. Jorea Marple

A federal lawsuit filed by West Virginia's former state school superintendent has been dismissed at her attorneys' request.

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Reconnecting McDowell
1:48 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Donation Creates Mentor Program for McDowell Co. Students

Mount View High School Junior and Aspire participant Emily Hicks thanked a crowd during a press conference at the Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A telecommunications firm announced a hefty donation Wednesday to a program designed to improve the educational opportunities for students in one of the poorest counties in the state.

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Religious Apparel
10:16 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

High School Wrestling Team T-shirts Questioned

Credit WTAP-TV

Wood County school officials have asked their lawyers to review a wrestling team's T-shirts that bear a Bible verse on the back.

Superintendent Pat Law said the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation complained about the Parkersburg South High School team's T-shirts to school officials.

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9:19 am
Mon April 14, 2014

W.Va. Schools to Get Free Computer System Upgrades

Credit Aravind Sivaraj / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's public schools will get free computer operating system upgrades for five years under a new agreement with Microsoft.
The Charleston Daily Mail reports
that schools will enter the agreement with Microsoft on July 1.
Under the agreement, schools can upgrade their computers' operating systems without cost if the hardware can handle the upgrade.

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5:03 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

W.Va. Schools Chief Looks Forward to Retirement

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

Retiring state schools Superintendent James Phares says he viewed his brief stint as an opportunity to help make a difference in West Virginia's education system.

Phares is stepping down on June 30 after 18 months on the job. He says that was set long ago as the day he'd walk with his wife into retirement.
Phares was Randolph County's schools superintendent when he was hired to replace the fired Jorea Marple.

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Public Education
3:41 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

W.Va. Superintendent Announces Retirement as National Search Continues

State Superintendent Dr. James Phares
Credit West Virginia Department of Education

State Board of Education members are now under even more pressure to complete their nationwide search for a new state superintendent of schools after Dr. James Phares announced Tuesday he would retire from that position in June.

In a short letter to state Board President Gayle Manchin, Phares cited pressing family issues and a desire to spend some time out of the public eye as reasons for retiring from his current position, as well as his 40 years of service in public education.

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Energy & Environment
9:12 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Exhibit to Teach Students About Natural Gas

Credit Analogue Kid / en.wikipedia

Students across West Virginia and surrounding states will get a hands-on experience with science and technology thanks to a new mobile exhibit.
Officials at the Clay Center in Charleston say the "Power Your Future" project received a two-year, $500,000 grant from EQT Foundation for the exhibit that is expected to hit the road later this year.

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Public Education
7:46 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Schools Request Nearly $130 Million for Building and Upgrades

Monongalia County Superintendent Frank Devono shows members of the School Building Authority where his county is experiencing the most population growth.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the past two days, 18 counties presented their facility needs to the state School Building Authority in Charleston. The requests totaled more than $100 million, but the agency only has about $45 million to give. That means some tough choices between deserving projects across the state.

Here is a list of those projects and their estimated costs.

Doddridge County:

  • $898,128 for two new classrooms at Doddridge County Elementary School
  • $398,128 in SBA funds

Gilmer County:

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12:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

W.Va. Schools for Deaf and Blind Job Requirement Change Approved

Child care workers at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind will be required to have an associate degree in to order to keep their jobs.
These employees work during non-instructional hours with students who live in the Romney school's dorms.

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11:26 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Calhoun School Workers Sue Over Spring Break Loss

Calhoun County

Three Calhoun County school employees have gone to court over the county Board of Education's decision to cancel spring break.
The Charleston Gazette reports that each employee filed a lawsuit Monday in Kanawha County Circuit Court against the county board and the state Board of Education.

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1:48 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

W.Va. House Education Committee Increases Amount in Teacher Raise Bill

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

House Education Committee has voted to increase pay for West Virginia teachers and service personnel significantly.
The amended bill increases teacher salaries $6,000 across-the-board over three years. Pay would increase $1,000 the first year, $2,000 the next, and $3,000 the third.

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Public Education
2:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Senators Compromise on Teacher Pay, Union Wants More

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

In a last minute compromise, the Senate Education and Finance Committee Chairs agreed to an across the board pay raise for teachers that differs from what was promised by Governor Tomblin during his State of the State Address.

The amended version of Senate Bill 391 passed by the upper chamber today calls for an $837 across the board increase.

The bill was originally presented by the governor and authorized a two percent across the board pay increase for teachers and school service personnel.

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Teacher Pay
11:26 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Senators Remove Across the Board Teacher Pay Raise

Senate Finance Chair Roman Prezioso discusses legislation with Senator Doug Facemire on the state Senate floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the Senate Finance Committee Friday morning voted to remove language from a bill increasing teachers' salaries by $1,000 across the board.

Members of the Senate Education Committee voted last week to increase the raise from the initial 2 percent promised by Governor Tomblin during his State of the State Address in January. 

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4:18 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Parents Still Concerned About Water in Schools After Elk River Spill

After smells of licorice, reported symptoms of burning eyes and noses, as well as positive tests of MCHM in recent weeks, tensions remain high over the safety of children after the Jan. 9 spill. Mackenzie Mays of The Charleston Gazette reports that many parents of children in Kanawha County schools are wondering how long schools will provide bottled water and how effective the new "rapid response team" has been. These concerns were the highlight of the Kanawha County Board of Education's Wednesday night meeting.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Parents still concerned about water in schools CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County parents are wondering how the school system will handle ongoing concerns about water safety now that complaints at schools are being fielded by a new "response team" tasked with deciding when to evacuate students.