Education

West Virginia students will take a new online standardized test this year that's based on the national Common Core standards.

The testing window for the Smarter Balanced Assessment begins next week and runs through June 24. Counties and schools will set their own testing schedules.

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.

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A report says one-third of West Virginia schoolchildren under age 6 live in poor households and are at risk of falling significantly behind their classmates' achievements.

The West Virginia KIDS COUNT's annual report on children's wellbeing says the vocabularies of children as young as 18 months from low-income families are already several months behind their peers, and that continues throughout their educations.

http://westliberty.edu/

Former West Liberty University President Robin Capehart will earn the same salary in his new role as a legislative liaison and consultant.

Capehart resigned last week following an ethics complaint and a vote of no confidence by the faculty senate. He will remain with the university through 2015.

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The West Virginia Treasurer’s Office will host its first county-wide Get a Life budget simulation over the next two days in Putnam County.

The program for eighth grade students in Putnam County will show them how a budget is put together. The two-day event, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Navy Reserve Center, will also teach kids the importance of properly handling money.

www.marshall.edu

The official search is on for Marshall University's next president.

The university says a 19-member search committee has released an advertisement for the position and will begin reviewing applications immediately. The committee has set an application deadline of April 10.

President Stephen J. Kopp died in December. Gary White is serving as interim president.

A new president is expected to be named before the start of the fall semester.

The advertisement can be found here.

http://westliberty.edu/

The approval of an interim president for West Liberty University is before a meeting of the Higher Education Policy Commission.

The commission is scheduled to meet Friday in South Charleston to take up that matter among many other items on a long meeting agenda.

The interim leadership is needed because President Robin Capehart resigned this week following an ethics complaint and a vote of no confidence by the faculty senate.

Capehart's executive assistant, John McCullough, was named interim president while a search is conducted for a permanent successor.

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

Members of the Senate Education Committee made major changes Monday to a bill that would repeal Common Core English and math standards in West Virginia. The bill no longer calls for a repeal, instead requires the West Virginia Department of Education study the standards for two years.

House Bill 2934, as approved by the House of Delegates, would have fully repealed the content standards by July 1,2015. As it moved through the Senate, an Education subcommittee agreed to give the repeal an additional year, amending the date to July 1, 2016.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Public schools are closed in all but one West Virginia county due to the recent winter storm.

The exception Friday is in Hancock County.

While the temperature dipped to record lows, Hancock County schools Superintendent Sue Smith says the roads were clear and dry, and bus drivers had no trouble getting around Friday morning.

Hancock County missed three days of school earlier this week due to bad weather. With 13 missed days already, the school year isn't scheduled to end until June 16 in order to fulfill the state's minimum mandate of 180 days in the classroom.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

The Charter Schools bill made its way into the House Wednesday. The House Education Committee debated the bill until almost midnight that night. It ultimately passed and will soon be on first reading in the full House.

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. 

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

Members of the West Virginia Senate began discussing a bill Monday that, if approved, would repeal Common Core standards in West Virginia. The legislation passed the state House of Delegates Saturday.

House Bill 2934 calls on the West Virginia Department of Education to repeal the Common Core standards adopted in 2010 for math and language arts. It then requires the board, along with the state Department of Education, to draft new standards.

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  A team at Marshall University has received a Knight News Challenge Grant to take a smart phone or mobile device history app and improve its black history offerings.

http://westliberty.edu/

West Liberty University's Board of Governors is expected to meet soon to discuss its options regarding an ethics complaint against the school's president.

Media outlets report that the board's executive committee met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the complaint against West Liberty President Robin Capehart. Board chairman George Couch says the board's legal counsel gave the committee an update. He didn't provide details.

Couch says the full board likely will hold a special meeting in the next week to 10 days.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since it was created by the legislature in 1998, the Children’s Health Insurance Program known as CHIP has covered thousands of children and teens under age 19. 

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During January’s West Virginia Board of Education meeting, the Board voted to withdraw a controversial new policy that addresses how science teachers should teach climate change to public school students.

Folks have until 4:00 pm Tuesday February 17th, to weigh in on this new policy.

West Virginia University

A second West Virginia University fraternity member faces hazing-related misdemeanors following the November death of a student.

Twenty-one-year-old Jordon

  Parrish Hankins of Hightstown, New Jersey, was arraigned on hazing and conspiracy to commit hazing charges Friday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

Earlier this week, 20-year-old Richard William Schwartz of Williamsville, New York, was charged with the same counts.

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The West Virginia Board of Education has approved a measure to eliminate statewide standardized testing in social studies and reducing examinations in science. 

The Charleston Gazette reports that the board approved the measure on Thursday along with several other changes.

While the move will only applies to testing this spring, the board could approve a more permanent reduction in the future.

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