May 2015

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May 13, 2015

W.Va. tuition rising as state cuts funding
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette

While 37 states increased per-student higher education funding for this academic year, West Virginia was one of the 13 that cut it, and one of only five that cut it by more than $100 per student, according to a report being released today.

The report by the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — which aims to reduce poverty and inequality and is funded by...

May 14, 2015

State school board places year-round coaching policy on comment|
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to put out for 30-day public comment period policy changes that would allow year-round coaching by certified middle and high school coaches.

Current policy allows for only three weeks of out-of-season sports practice or related activities. Martinsburg High School Principal Trent Sherman, who proposed...

May 14, 2015

Yearbook says West Virginia’s Pre-K program ranks highly
By Matt Maccaro in News | May 13, 2015 at 7:47PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Preschool Program ranks favorably nationwide according to The State of Preschool 2014 Yearbook released by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

State Chief Academic Officer Clayton Burch said the rankings show West Virginia’s early education program in a very favorable way.

“We’re fifth in the...

May 18, 2015

Statehouse Beat: Many counties can't absorb another tax cut
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette 

Although today marks only the second major meeting of the legislative Select Committee on Fair Taxation, many observers believe that among the taxes subject to the committee’s slashing will be personal property taxes on business inventory and equipment.

Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, for one, has repeatedly told lobbyists the state inventory tax is a...

May 19, 2015

Senate Finance Chairman: Tax reform alone not enough
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After day-long testimony Monday from academics and experts from national organizations, a co-chairman of the legislative Select Committee on Tax Reform said reform ultimately may not mean big cuts or massive shifts in tax obligations.

“There’s a lot of reform we can address that may not seem large but can have impact on those it affects,” Senate...

May 21, 2015

Commentary: Lawmakers must let educators teach students
By Paul Hodges, For The Charleston Gazette

Here we go again! I was very distressed when I read in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph about Sen. Bill Cole’s intentions to continue pushing for repeal of the Common Core State Standards in West Virginia.

When I first began to talk to teachers concerning Common Core, or as it is known in West Virginia, Next Generation Standards, I heard a frequent refrain, “...

May 21, 2015

Report: W.Va. among three states continuously cutting higher ed funds
By Ashton Marra, West Virginia Public Broadcating

A report released this month by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities looked at states across the country that cut their higher education budgets in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn.

Three of 50 states did not make cuts to their systems during that time, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska.

The report says now...

May 22, 2015

Serena Starcher to step down as Fayette superintendent
By Douglas Fritz,

The West Virginia Board of Education is looking for a new superintendent of schools in Fayette County. Dr. Serena Starcher has announced she will be stepping down from the position after June 30, 2015. She was appointed to the position after Keith Butcher took over as superintendent of Nicholas County.

Dr. Starcher was appointed as the interim superintendent in July 2014...

May 26, 2015

Fayette school bond supporters sense hope in election
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

The abrupt January closure of Collins Middle School’s seventh-and-eighth-grade building has fueled an effort to pass Fayette County’s first bond in more than 40 years despite continuing opposition to consolidation.

The closure forced the school to send about 400 students elsewhere after also seeing its band building and gym shuttered due to structural issues in the previous...

May 26, 2015

Paula Kaufman: Japanese teachers’ lament instructive to Americans
By Paula Kaufman

American teachers often complain about overwork and a test-crazed culture. I agree that we are heading in the wrong direction, but while things could be better for our teachers, they could also be worse. Japan is case study of what could happen when a country slips too far in one direction.

In many regards, the Japanese education system works. Literacy rates are some of the...

May 28, 2015

Superintendent Search Goes On
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Staff Writer, Wetzel Chronicle 

The search for a new superintendent continues as the Wetzel County Board of Education has scheduled two additional interviews for May 28, 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.

On Monday, May 18 the board met behind closed doors for yet another interview, this being the third interview. Although the board did not announce the candidate they were interviewing, Interim...

May 28, 2015

Students say replacement for GED test much more difficult

CHARLESTON, WV - About 20 percent of high school students fail to graduate in West Virginia and making up for those diplomas may now be a little harder. The WV Department of Education changed over to a new high school equivalency exam last year, replacing the GED with the newer Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC, exam.

 Thirty-three years later, Steve Higginbotham is back in class...