January 2017

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January 12, 2017

New movie shines proud light on WV State University
Chris Lawrence, WV metronews

“This is not a movie about race,” said West Virginia State University President Anthony Jenkins of the new film Hidden Figures. “This is a movie about coming together for a common good.”

Jenkins was one of a handful of West Virginia State officials, alumni, and students who were treated to a pre-screening of the picture ahead of its national release last weekend. The reason...

January 13, 2017

Fayette County gets most of its school system back from state control
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Board of Education voted Thursday to return the Fayette County school system to local control with the exception of facilities and finances related to facilities.

The state board seized control of the system in 2010 after a performance audit showed numerous problems with personnel, policies and maintenance. Many  things since...

January 13, 2017

Gayle Manchin picked for Education and the Arts post
By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

Gayle Manchin, the wife of Sen. Joe Manchin, has been appointed West Virginia’s Secretary of Education and the Arts, according to an announcement by Governor-elect Jim Justice’s transition team.

Gayle Manchin previously served on the state West Virginia Board of Education from 2007 to 2015, serving as president starting in 2013.

She was West Virginia’s first lady...

January 17, 2017

State board President Mike Green hopeful about test changes
BY Alex Thomas, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – With public comment now open, the West Virginia Board of Education is hearing from West Virginians about a proposal to replace the Smarter Balanced assessments with better end-of-course exams that are connected to students’ final grades.

The Smarter Balanced assessments are aligned to the Common Core standards for English and Math. Public school...

January 17, 2017

Justice takes aim at education bureaucracy in inaugural address
By Alex Thomas, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In his inaugural address Monday, Gov. Jim Justice announced a plan to cut bureaucracy in education, which he said has grown tremendously in spite of declining enrollment rates.

“In 1980, we had 130 bureaucrats looking over 500,000 students,” Justice said. “Today, we have half as many students and ten times as many bureaucrats looking over them...

January 17, 2017

Boone schools may cut positions as grievances, suits continue
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Boone County Schools’ superintendent tentatively plans to recommend the Boone school board eliminate 40 to 45 positions for next school year, but cutting that many will be difficult now that board members have rejected his proposed school closures.

That’s according to Amy Willard, executive director of the state Office of School Finance. Boone...

January 17, 2017

Public schools: Don't undermine
Charleston Gazette editorial (

The 2017 Legislature met for organizing purposes last week, then recessed for a month until it officially starts on Feb. 8.

Under strong Republican control, it's likely to pursue a conservative agenda with heavy impact on West Virginia -- as it did last year. Among various right-wing goals, here's one that should...

January 18, 2017

Justice targets education 'bureaucrats,' but plan not yet released
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

At least as far as education goes, Gov. Jim Justice’s inauguration speech Monday was surprising — given the fact he was short on specifics during his campaign.

“Today, I have an education plan right here,” the Democrat said, holding up a blue booklet, “that I’m going to submit immediately for people to review. It’s going to be the elimination of a...

January 18, 2017

State leaders might follow Justice's lead on reforming A to F
By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s A through F grading system for schools, which just debuted a few months ago, is already getting a failing grade from new Gov. Jim Justice.

“We’ve got to worry about our kids getting an A through F versus our schools getting an A through F,” Justice, a Democrat from Greenbrier County, said in his inauguration speech on Monday....

January 19, 2017

Martirano admits he's 'conflicted' about whether to leave post
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano admitted during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday he was having second thoughts about leaving the position in June and returning to Maryland to be closer to his family.

“I’m an honest person as the day is driven, I’m struggling with this decision so much. I’m so conflicted,”...

January 20, 2017

Mercer school board, superintendent sued over Bible classes
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and a member of the Wisconsin-based nonprofit who’s a parent of a student at a public Mercer County elementary school filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to declare unconstitutional a Bible classes program in Mercer’s public school system.

The lawsuit — filed against the Mercer school board and Mercer schools...

January 20, 2017

Kanawha BOE approves contract to replace flooded schools
By Alex Thomas, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Kanawha County Board of Education approved Thursday a contract with a company to provide construction management services for two new schools.

The West Virginia School Building Authority is handling how to replace Clendenin Elementary School and Herbert Hoover High School, which were both destroyed in last June’s flood.

Chuck Wilson,...