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July 2014

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July 2, 2014

By Mandy Cardosi
WOWKTV.com

Several state laws will take effect July 1, including the law passed to give teachers and school service personnel an across-the-board $1,000 pay raise.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin promised in his State of the State address school teachers, bus drivers and custodians would see a 2 percent increase in their salaries.

“Therefore, I commit to funding a 2 percent pay raise for all teachers and school service personnel who invest in our children...

July 3, 2014

By Pamela Pritt  
Register-Herald Reporter

The last month of the fiscal year proved to be the best for West Virginia, with a revenue surplus more than $27 million above estimates.

Secretary of the Department of Revenue Bob Kiss said the surplus is in part due to a statewide hiring freeze, which has been extended indefinitely.

Deputy Secretary Mark Muchow reported $19.3 million in collections, a figure 25 percent above the prior year’s receipts. Tax collection for...

July 7, 2014

By Jessica Farrish 
Register-Herald Reporter

As West Virginia school districts are set to fully implement Common Core standards in August, many local parents have questions about Common Core and changes to local curriculum.

What is Common Core? 

The website www.corestandards.org reports that “Common Core State Standards” is a national educational initiative that sets “clear” learning goals to prepare students in...

July 9, 2014

By Samuel Speciale, Education reporter

Michael Martirano, West Virginia’s “soon-to-be” superintendent of schools, is all about first impressions.

In a press conference Tuesday where Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin introduced him to the public, Martirano said he encourages his students to make lasting impressions on the world.

He used his first appearance in West Virgina to make several promises he knows will be challenging to...

July 9, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays, Staff writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Board of Education President Gayle Manchin formally introduced new state Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano to the public in a ceremony Tuesday at the West Virginia Capitol.

While Martirano, who will officially assume the position in the fall, is transitioning from his role as superintendent in St. Mary’s County, Maryland — among the highest-achieving and wealthiest districts in the state —...

July 10, 2014

By Jeff Jenkins 
WV MetroNews

The director of the state Office of Education Performance Audits says leadership is the difference in Preston County and a big reason why the school system should be returned to local control.

Director Gus Penix made the recommendation to members of the state Board of Education Wednesday and the board voted unanimously to allow the Preston County Board of Education to begin running its system again.

The state board seized control of...

July 14, 2014

By Jeff Jenkins 
WV MetroNews

The state School Building Authority approved $350,000 Friday in emergency funding for a new elementary school being built on the Lewis-Gilmer County line.

SBA Executive Director David Sneed said the earth has moved behind the construction project. He said the slip began on an adjacent property and got to within 20 feet of the building. Contractors had to take down some scaffolding. Sneed said the possible problem did not show up during the...

July 14, 2014

By Jamie Stengle 
The Associated Press

DALLAS — Efforts to eliminate extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees are gaining momentum in a small but growing number of U.S. schools, stirring a national debate about how best to compensate quality educators and angering teachers who say the extra training is valuable.

More than half of the nation’s teachers have master’s degrees or higher, but the changing salary structure is giving pause to others considering the same...

July 14, 2014

By Shauna Johnson 
WV MetroNews

Those with the West Virginia Education Association are still part of the national chorus that’s calling for a moratorium on standardized testing in schools — at least until the Common Core standards are fully implemented.

“We have to get away from this high stakes testing and really use testing for what it was designed to do which is to chart a student’s growth individually, not to judge schools or teachers or anything else,” said Dale Lee...

July 15, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette  

This is the final story in a series about community efforts and education reform on Charleston’s West Side.

Whittney Armstrong knows what she signed up for.

Last week, Armstrong, a 24-year-old teacher, started her job at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School – ranked among the lowest-achieving schools in the state and located in a neighborhood infamous for drug-related crime.

“I tell everyone when they...

July 16, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All high school students in West Virginia will now have the opportunity to graduate with a free information technology certification, thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and the state Department of Education announced Tuesday.

Beginning in the fall, students will have access to Microsoft’s IT Academy, which provides a variety of certifications to students for free upon graduation, including opportunities...

July 17, 2014

By Jennifer Smith 
WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When history teacher Steve Sayre steps into the classroom this fall it will be his 36th year. For the last seven, he’s taught at Ripley High School in Jackson County but he’s not your average teacher. Sayre’s focus is on advanced placement classes.

“It has expanded from AP U.S. history. I restarted the (AP) World history program and then this past year started the AP European history,” explained Sayre.

He said...

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