New state BOE president says school doors are not limits for learning

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New state BOE president says school doors are not limits for learning
By MetroNews Staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Students no longer have to physically be in school to learn and Mike Green, the new president of the West Virginia Board of Education, said school systems must continually adapt to the new education reality, now 24/7, to improve student achievement.

“Our children have the ability, because of what we have in technology — because they have iPads and iPhones and smart devices — that they have the ability to get information any time they want,” said Green who has extensive experience in the tech industry.

“Our job as educators is to give them the ability to take that information and turn it into knowledge.”

During the past several years, Green said state education officials have taken important steps to provide fiber to West Virginia’s schools, allowing for high speed broadband service where available.

Currently, though, the ratio of electronic devices to students is still below a 1-to-1 ration in the Mountain State.

In terms of instruction, the 180 days of instruction mandated in the 2013 education reform law, according to Green, must be only the beginning point for education time.

That requirement was enforced for the first time during the 2014-2015 school year and, because of that, it was June 24 before all county school systems ended the year.

Green predicted such late closing dates are unlikely for the 2015-2016 school year.

I really applaud the counties for stepping up and looking at their calendars for the next school year and they’ve all done a tremendous job to make sure that they put an appropriate calendar into their system so we don’t run into the same issues we did last year,” Green said.

Winter always comes, he said.

“It is going to snow in West Virginia and I don’t think in the past we’ve taken that seriously enough to make sure that our calendars are balanced enough to appropriate the amount of time, earlier in the school year, so that our kids don’t run into this particular issue at the end of the year.”

The new school year begins in less than a month in parts of West Virginia.

Green, who was appointed to the board in 2009, was selected to serve as state BOE president during a meeting last week in Charleston following two years as vice president.

He’s pledged to do his “very, very best to provide the best kind of education leadership I can for the children of West Virginia.”