April 2015

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April 19, 2015

Statehouse Beat: Legislature has marching orders
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

Sitting through three consecutive hours of April interim meetings, in the same chair in the same committee room, provided a fascinating dichotomy.

At one point, we had the legislative leadership giving the new Select Committee on Tax Reform its ALEC marching orders, with Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, blaming the state’s drop in ALEC’s “Rich States, Poor States...

April 19, 2015

Manchin will stay in Senate, won’t run for governor
By David Gutman, The Charleston Gazette

Sen. Joe Manchin announced on Sunday that he will remain in the U.S. Senate and will run for re-election in 2018, not run for a third term as governor of West Virginia in 2016.

Manchin’s announcement ends more than a year of self-made speculation on his political future. The Democratic senator told the Gazette...

April 20, 2015

Student testing opt-outs spark debate
By Samuel Speciale, The Charleston Daily Mail

Pushback from school officials after hundreds of Wayne County parents attempted to opt their children out of their end-of-year assessments last week has sparked a civil liberties debate, causing many to question whether or not ultimate authority over public education lies with the state.

While opting out is not a recent development in West Virginia, attitudes toward...

April 20, 2015

Two W.Va. teachers, WVEA members talk standardized testing woes
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

Standardized testing is beginning for students in West Virginia. This year, the online Smarter Balanced Assessment, based on Common Core standards, is being used in subjects of math and English language arts for grades 3-11.

Early on, Sarita Beckett, a 6th grade teacher at Independence Middle School in Raleigh County, said the reviews for the fully computerized...

April 21, 2015

Is teacher absenteeism really a problem?
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer   
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State school board member Wade Linger recently said that in some counties teachers are missing more days than their students. State education officials acknowledge there may be a problem but couldn’t provide firm numbers to support the allegation.

In 2013, as legislators pushed a bill to address the alleged problem, then-state schools Superintendent Jim...

April 21, 2015

Editorial: Keep the politics out of the classroom, please
Charleston Daily Mail editorial

If the local educators were in charge of curricula, you probably wouldn’t hear much complaining about testing requirements.

Oh sure, some students and parents would complain about the difficulty of the tests – some parents would complain that the teacher doesn’t like their kid, and so on.

But you likely would not have the power struggle over Big Education in...

April 22, 2015

School board giving back by way of tax break in Ohio County

OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. -- Neighbors in Ohio County will soon see a break in their property taxes.

The board of education voted Tuesday morning to cut taxes by 2 percent for the first time in 18 years, but it wasn't without opposition. Some say Ohio County Schools will take a hit from funding improvements, but others say they could afford to give the taxpayers a break with...

April 22, 2015

Deadline to avoid PEIA deductible increase coming up
By Phil Kabler, Staff writer, Charleston Gazette

After years of offering proverbial carrots, the Public Employees Insurance Agency is using a stick approach to get members more involved in taking care of their health: Non-compliers will have their medical deductible increased by $500 a year.

“This is the wakeup call to say to people, you’ve got to be accountable,” PEIA Executive...

April 22, 2015

School system computer network hacked by Ohio County student
By Jeff Jenkins in News | WV MetroNews

WHEELING, W.Va. — A Wheeling area high school student was recently able to invade the public education computer network and slow things down including standardized testing that was happening in some counties at the time.

West Virginia Department of Education Chief Technology Officer Sterling Beane said it happened last week when the student used an off-...

April 23, 2015

WV Schools for the Deaf and Blind superintendent to retire
By Marla Pisciotta, For The State Journal

Lynn Boyer, superintendent of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind since July 2011, told the school's Board of Advisers April 21 she would be retiring June 30.

“I offer my thanks to you and the West Virginia Board of Education for the extraordinary opportunity to lead this campus through four years of change and innovation," Boyer wrote in...

April 23, 2015

Wetzel Board Interviews A Superintendent Candidate
By Amy Witschey - Editor  Wetzel Chronicle

The Wetzel County Board of Education did not make a motion for or against hiring a woman they interviewed for the superintendent's position that evening.

The board held a 15-minute executive session after an approximately one hour open interview of Tammy Ignacio....

April 23, 2015

Social studies important part of education
The following is a letter to the editor published in the Charleston Gazette from former WVBE member Pricilla Haden.


The West Virginia State Board of Education recently approved a plan to eliminate Social Studies standardized testing in all grades.

I do recognize the need for less testing. However, the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe test that is exempt from the ban on testing could be given...