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Student testing opt-outs spark debate
By Samuel Speciale, The Charleston Daily Mail

Pushback from school officials after hundreds of Wayne County parents attempted to opt their children out of their end-of-year assessments last week has sparked a civil liberties debate, causing many to question whether or not ultimate authority over public education lies with the state.

While opting out is not a recent development in West Virginia, attitudes toward...


Manchin will stay in Senate, won’t run for governor
By David Gutman, The Charleston Gazette

Sen. Joe Manchin announced on Sunday that he will remain in the U.S. Senate and will run for re-election in 2018, not run for a third term as governor of West Virginia in 2016.

Manchin’s announcement ends more than a year of self-made speculation on his political future. The Democratic senator told the Gazette...


Statehouse Beat: Legislature has marching orders
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

Sitting through three consecutive hours of April interim meetings, in the same chair in the same committee room, provided a fascinating dichotomy.

At one point, we had the legislative leadership giving the new Select Committee on Tax Reform its ALEC marching orders, with Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, blaming the state’s drop in ALEC’s “Rich States, Poor States...


Commentary: Common Core woes continue
By Hoppy Kercheval, WV MetroNews

West Virginia is transitioning to the new Common Core standards in public education. These standards are supposed to improve the quality of education in the state and provide a basis for accurately comparing our students with those from other states.

However, the shift in how we deliver public education has been beset by a series of problems.

The state Department of Education...


Some counties stick with testing schedule despite missed days
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Students in some county school systems in West Virginia have started  taking the annual standardized tests even though their school years now won’t until at least mid-June.

The year-end dates were moved back to allow for makeup days necessitated by winter weather cancellations. The state Board of Education denied waiver requests made by 27...