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February 2015

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February 13, 2015

State school board approves reducing standardized testing
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

The West Virginia Board of Education Thursday approved a measure eliminating statewide standardized testing in social studies and reducing examinations in science, among several major education changes.

The board also delayed, for at least this school year and next, labeling schools with its new A-F grading system, which takes standardized testing into account.

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February 13, 2015

Manchin says students need protected from ‘passing the trash’
By Chris Lawrence , WV MetroNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) jointly introduced legislation Thursday in Washington aimed at protecting children from child predators in the school system.

The legislation was born out of the 1997 rape and murder of Jeremy Bell,12, of Fayette County. Bell was murdered by his teacher, Edgar Friedrichs Jr. who...

February 13, 2015

Lawmakers continue to refine charter schools legislation
By Joel Ebert, Charleston Daily Mail

Attempts to further refine the particulars of a charter school bill, which has been discussed for more than two weeks and remains the Senate Education Committee’s top priority, continued once again on Thursday.

Lawmakers approved what committee chairman Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, called a “laundry list” of amendments that were drafted as a result of...

February 18, 2015

Senate Education Committee approves charter schools bill
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer. Charleston Gazette

The West Virginia Senate Education Committee finally approved a charter schools bill Tuesday night, moving past an issue that appeared on its agenda a dozen times.

All seven Republicans present voted for accepting a version of the bill in committee, and all five Democrats voted against. The body then passed Senate Bill 14 onto the Senate Finance...

February 18, 2015

Bill for charter schools gets OK
By Joel Ebert, Charleston Daily Mail

A controversial charter school bill that was subjected to more than three hours of debate on Tuesday has finally been passed through a Senate Education Committee.

Meeting five times over the last two days, including three separate occasions on Tuesday, the committee approved numerous amendments to Senate Bill 14, which establishes a pathway for the creation of charter schools in West...

February 18, 2015

What does ‘right-to-work’ really mean?
By William Hal Gorby

Words have power in political debates. For West Virginians, the people’s very soul was the historic struggle over their “rights” achieved following 40 years of bloody violence.

On June 23, 1933, 2,500 coal miners descended on Charleston for a rally as representatives of 160,000 new UMWA members.State UMWA leader Van Bittner announced “This is our day it is written in the stars that we shall...

February 20, 2015

Manchin speaks during prevailing wage hearing
By Chris Lawrence, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the legislature heard a range of opinions during a Thursday public hearing at the Capitol on legislation aimed at changing the provisions of prevailing wage in West Virginia.

Organized labor and construction workers are against the idea of tampering with the mechanism which currently calculates the wage on publicly financed construction projects...

February 23, 2015

Homeschooling advocates hope for change in legislation
By Jesse Wright, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Studies show homeschooling is becoming more popular in the U.S. — a trend that West Virginia is following. Advocates are hoping bills recently introduced in the state Legislature will make homeschooling easier.

There were about 7,000 children home-schooled in West Virginia during the 2010 academic year. That number rose to about 9,000 in 2013,...

February 24, 2015

Kessler discusses Senate Finance vote to kill charter schools bill
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler used a procedural move Monday to kill the controversial public charter schools bill. The Senate Finance Committee was set to take up the bill (SB14) at its afternoon meeting when Kessler (D-Marshall) said he looked around the room and noticed three Republican members of the committee weren’t there.

So he made a motion...

February 24, 2015

Using rare maneuver, Democrats kill Senate charter school bill
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette

After a bill to allow charter schools in West Virginia appeared on the Senate Education Committee’s agenda a dozen times, Democrats permanently shot it down Monday during its first hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.

Howard O’Cull, who worked on the bill and said he’s lobbied for the West Virginia School Board Association since 1978, said the...

February 24, 2015

Charter schools bill revived; some senators fuming
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republicans used their majority in the state Senate to revive the charter schools bill Tuesday afternoon creating a firestorm between Republicans and Democrats.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee made a move Monday that they thought killed the bill (SB14) when they successfully passed a motion to postpone the bill indefinitely but Republicans...

February 27, 2015

Michael Martirano: Don't confuse standards, curriculum

Common sense is the key to effective decision making. This is true when it comes to the West Virginia Next Generation Standards. These standards guide the work of teachers as they help our children learn and thrive and prepare them for college and careers.

Now a small group in West Virginia has the ear of legislators and wants lawmakers to direct the West Virginia Board of Education to repeal all of these...

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