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Martirano to begin public review of Common Core standards

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Martirano to begin public review of Common Core standards
By Erin Timony, The State Journal

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano will begin a public review of the Next Generation Content Standards in English Language Arts and math, also called common core standards, following the direction of the West Virginia Board of Education.

The most recent session of the West Virginia Legislature debated a bill that would have completely repealed the state's Common Core curriculum, but the bill ultimately died.

The state's review of the standards will come in two phases. The first phase will include the launch of a website accessible to all West Virginians so they can go online, review each current state standard and comment on what they like, don't like or would suggest should be changed about a particular standard. After an independent third party collects and sorts the data, the comments will be reviewed and analyzed by professional West Virginia educators, according to a WVDE press release. During phase two, a recommendation is expected to be made to the West Virginia Board of Education about the standards.

Some argue that changing the standards is impossible without breaching a contract, due to the fact that Common Core State Standards, (West Virginia's Next Generation Content Standards in English and math) are copyrighted by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Common Core State Standards Initiative website includes a disclaimer that reads: "this website and all content on this website, including in particular the Common Core State Standards, are the property of NGA Center and CCSSO, and NGA Center and CCSSO retain all right, title and interest in and to the same."

The WV Department of Education and Board of Education have struggled in recent months to communicate with the public about the state's adoption of the standards. On June 13, 2013 then-WVBOE vice-president Gayle Manchin said, "the Standards were developed by West Virginia teachers." Since then, other state education officials have said teachers "helped write," the standards, and most recently the board's statement has been that teachers "reviewed" the standards.

WVBE President Gayle Manchin said the current review of Next Generation standards "will include input from educators from both K-12 and higher education and citizens from across the state."

While Martirano said he believes "the West Virginia Next Generation Standards are the right set of standards," he "looks forward to hearing from our citizens, stakeholders, parents and educators about their specific ideas for improvement."

The Next Generation Standards are in the first full year of implementation, having been introduced at different grade levels during the past four years.