October 2015

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October 20, 2015

W.Va. high school graduation rates continue to improve
By Carrie Hodousek, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia leads the nation on improving high school graduation rates, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

The data shows West Virginia saw the fourth-greatest increase in graduation rates from 81.4 percent in 2012-2013 to 84.5 percent in 2013-2014.

There was also a dramatic increase in rates of...

October 20, 2015

Tax reform committee urged to raise tobacco taxes
By Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the state legislature’s Select Committee on Tax Reform heard several calls during a public hearing Tuesday to raise the state’s tobacco tax.

“A tax hike on cigarette taxes and other tobacco products is a no brainer,” West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee told the committee. “It would provide a much needed revenue boost when we are...

October 21, 2015

Kessler tours Fayette schools same day SBA lawsuit is filed
By Alex Wiederspiel, WV MetroNews

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — The law firm Mountain State Justice filed a civil suit against the School Building Authority in Kanawha County Circuit Court on behalf of the Fayette County Commission and several other individual parties to find a legal remedy in the dispute between the Fayette County school system and the School Building Authority.

Fayette County...

October 21, 2015

Fayette commission, parents file suit against the SBA
By Sarah Plummer, (Beckley) Register-Herald Reporter

A lawsuit has been filed against the School Building Authority of West Virginia by Mountain State Justice Inc. on behalf of the Fayette County Commission and individual plaintiffs Shawna Sparks, Geoffrey Heeter and Fayette County Commissioner Matthew Wender.

The suit was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

In a written statement Tuesday,...

October 22, 2015

Brooke County school nurses take action to counteract overdoses
By Kristine Varkony,

WELLSBURG, W.Va. - Brooke County has had 23 overdoses deaths between 2001 and 2014. That's the highest in the Northern Panhandle, and those high numbers are what is prompting Brooke County schools to do something previously unheard of in West Virginia: start stocking Naloxone, also known by its name brand Narcan, in case of a student overdose.
A waiver...

October 26, 2015

School design, construction doing more with less
By Ann Ali, Managing Editor, The State Journal

In the face of sweeping budget cuts, rising construction costs and increasing calls for technological upgrades and safety measures along with environmentally friendly designs, the School Building Authority continues to navigate the treacherous waters of school design and construction.

At Williamson Shriver Architects Inc., Ted Shriver said budgets have already...

October 26, 2015

Obama administration calls for limits on testing in schools
By Kate Zernike, The New York Times

Faced with mounting and bipartisan opposition to increased and often high-stakes testing in the nation’s public schools, the Obama administration declared Saturday that the push had gone too far, acknowledged its own role in the proliferation of tests, and urged schools to step back and make exams less onerous and more purposeful.

Specifically, the...

October 26, 2015

Q and A: What will Obama's new testing plan mean for students, teachers?
By PBS Newshour

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: President Obama and the federal Department of Education are calling on states to cut back on standardized tests in schools. U.S. school kids from pre-K through 12th grade, on average, take eight standardized tests every year. That’s almost one test a month during the school year.

In a Facebook video yesterday, the president said teachers have told...

October 26, 2015

WV tax committee hears all sides, must weigh options
By Linda Harris, Legal Reporter, The State Journal

West Virginia’s Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform heard from special interests and the public Oct. 20. Those who spoke want to make sure any changes the Legislature ultimately makes grow revenues without hurting the constituencies and causes they hold dear.

 But those causes and constituencies run the gamut from children, young adults, seniors, low-...

October 26, 2015

Study: Kids take 100-plus required tests through 12th grade
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Students, parents and teachers have long lamented the hours that kids spend taking standardized tests, especially since the introduction of the Common Core academic standards. But just how much time each year is it?

A. Between 10-15 hours.

B. Between 20-25 hours.

C. Between 30-35 hours.

The correct answer is "B," according to a...

October 27, 2015

Martirano says Fayette schools some of the 'worst he's seen'
By Alex Wiederspiel, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dr. Michael Martirano, State Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia, said the conditions of the Fayette County schools are among the worst he’s ever seen in his time as an educator.

He also said the Fayette County school facilities are the worst he’s seen in the Mountain State.

“The top concern is in Fayette County,” Martirano said...

October 28, 2015

W.Va. only state to see 8th-grade NAEP reading increase
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia was the only state in the nation to see its eighth-grade average reading score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress increase significantly over 2013, but it was among 22 states to see their eighth-grade math scores significantly fall from two years ago, according to 2015 data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.