State school board to vote on Fayette facilities plan
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail
In two instances of déjà vu, the West Virginia Board of Education is set to vote this week on a consolidation plan for Fayette County’s public school system and a policy waiver that will again stop the requirement that teachers be evaluated based on their students’ standardized test scores.
Unlike the last Fayette consolidation plan, though, the new one has the public backing of the staff of the state School Building Authority, although the SBA board doesn’t have to follow its staff’s recommendations. State schools Superintendent Michael Martirano intends to ask the SBA board for funding to carry out the plan, first for building a new Collins Middle and a new prekindergarten-through-second-grade school in the Oak Hill area.
The state school board must approve the larger consolidation plan before the SBA’s board can vote in December to fund those projects, which are expected to require $22.6 million in SBA funds and $17 million provided by Fayette’s school system.
Also, unlike the last two times the student standardized testing portion of teacher evaluations was postponed, federal regulations now no longer require the state to actually ever move forward with basing 15 percent of annual evaluations for math and English language arts teachers on their students’ improvement in exam scores over last school year, said Michele Blatt, the education department’s chief accountability officer.