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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...

July-17-2014

By Mackenzie Mays
The Charleston Gazette

Making the West Side of Charleston its own school district — separate from the Kanawha County school system and overseen by the state — is the latest suggestion in an attempt to turn around the area’s struggling schools.

Bill White, a member of the West Virginia Board of Education, brought up the idea at a public meeting last week. On Wednesday morning, he said he hoped to get the state board to seriously consider taking over the...

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-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-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...

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