State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart welcomed the enthusiastic group and thanked participants for their interest in public education.
Following introductory remarks by State Board President J. D. Morris and Vice President Jim McKnight, participants were divided into 13 tables to discuss three questions addressing the future of public education in the Mountain State. The structured Forum provided all participants with the opportunity to voice their opinions.
To register for Forum participation, to learn about participants' responses at each forum, or to participate in an on-line poll, click on the following link: http://wvde.state.wv.us/forums/
Following are the top five responses (by table) to each of the three questions:
Question #1: What should be the purposes of public education?
Table 1: Prepare students for college and other post secondary options including a well trained stable work force. Provide equal opportunities for all students so they can attain their full potential. Provide aggressive remediation and support to all students. Master the basic skills. Prepare students to be active responsible citizens.
Table 2: Teach children to learn and nurture the skills needed for productive contribution to society. Provide quality and equitable education to all children rural, urban, etc. Elevate the self efficacy for students and teachers, ensure professional growth and self esteem of teachers and students. Provide cultural stewardship and responsible citizens with diversity. Provide a safe learning environment, physical emotional health and wellness
Table 3: Create a caring and nurturing environment for all children to learn to become successful citizens. Establish relationships with adult role models Give students skills to life long learners. Develop the whole child. Provide a transition at each level especially into adulthood.
Table 4: Provide character education to include responsibility, work ethic emphasis and socialization. Provide social services to include meals, counseling, health care, and community connections to other services. Provide a high quality education including basic skills, technology, advanced courses, high standards and career awareness and preparation. Equal opportunity for all students to be successful citizens Provide a safe and healthy environment conducive to learning.
Table 5: Deliver a thorough and high quality curriculum including reading, writing, math, science, etc. Prepare students for citizenship . Prepare students for future success. Teach critical thinking skills and problem solving. Equity for all.
Table 6: Prepare provide fundamental so that students can succeed in life. Provide equitable opportunities for all students. Communicate with and be subservient to the public's desires in education. Enable empower students to achieve their individual life's goals. Give a holistic approach to intellectual emotional levels of the child.
Table 7: Teach all children in a safe, clean, healthy environment. Ensure quality and equality of opportunity for all children. Prepare all students to be independent, thinking, productive and successful. Provide training/education that prepares students for post-secondary education or careers. Help students develop responsibility, citizenship and strong character.
Table 8: Help students become lifelong learners to achieve career goals. Prepare students to lead a healthy productive life in the community. Teach students to think critically. Provide a basic core of knowledge. Promote equity for all.
Table 9: All students should be prepared to be respectful, responsible and productive citizens with academic preparedness informed critical thinkers, appreciation of cultural endeavors, and focus on protecting and conserving the environment. Meet the unique needs of all students. Prepare all students for success in college and or the work place. Foster enthusiasm and a life long love of learning. Foster a safe school environment by teaching students to respect diversity work cooperatively and to work as team members.
Table 10: Educate the whole child for good lifelong citizenship by teaching the basics . Provide and promote a safe and healthy environment. Prepare students for life and career by using a seamless education and a variety of approaches. Educate every child by motivating them to recognize and actualize their potential. Broaden definition of education to include a variety of avenues and locations with a focus on whole community.
Table 11: Create lifelong learners. Prepare the whole child through a balanced program of academic social and physical development. Set high education standards that include diversity and richness for how the standards can be met. Offer educational opportunities for all students equally. Expose children to a variety of experiences not found in other areas of their lives.
Table 12: Produce not just literate but discerning citizens of a global society. Provide all students a balanced education. Ensure all students can read on grade level by end of 3rd grade. Ensure that all students who graduate from high school should know the basic requirements pertaining to that level, taking into account each individuals optimal learning capacity. Instill in students realization that learning is life long.
Table 13: Provide well rounded foundation that maximizes all aspects of a child's students development i.e., social academic, health. Instill a love of learning by facilitating scholarship and challenging students. Involve teachers as a stakeholder which includes maximize teachers potential to teach providing staff development to keep abreast of best practices. Involve parents and community which includes providing resources for parents such as parenting skills and how to help children learn. Provide clean, safe and healthy and accessible environment for learning.
Question #2: How can we know if these purposes are being achieved?
Table 1: Percentage attending and finishing college, number employed, military or educational placements, and tracking of this information over time. Statewide comparisons of course work opportunities provided, urban v. rural. Drop out rates, incidence of substance abuse, mental health issues, pregnancy rates. Testing as an ongoing tool for measuring progress in the core curriculum. Voters, percentage in community service, welfare rolls.
Table 2: First identify the necessary skills as they evolve. Develop evaluation for those skills include benchmarks, that include local measures incorporated into a global assessment. Do checks to ensure local implementations are in compliance with law policy including measures such as teacher student ratios, transportation costs per pupil expenditures. Measure for both teachers and students of absenteeism, graduation rates, drop out rates, higher ed. completion rates. Require and measure community service, voter registration percentage. Measure number of students who participate in school food programs. Audit to ensure that schools internet with other social services agencies.
Table 3: Testing relevant to learning with resources being teacher student/parent friendly crit. Req. Not standard tests not the only tool for measuring achievement. Increase in completion of post secondary education. Gross national products higher median incomes, — of luxury items. School satisfaction rate by parents staff students is high. Increase in high school graduate rate.
Table 4: Character education can be measure4d by lower incarceration rates and a higher percentage of people employed. One purpose of a high quality education can be measured by the number of students completing advanced courses, formal standardized assessments, number of jobs created. The purpose of citizenship can be measured by the percentage of high school graduates who vote and volunteer in the community and a decreased crime rate. The purpose of a safe and health environment can be measured by a lower number of discipline referrals, number of new schools and a low rate of absenteeism.
Table 5: Thorough high quality education: achievement testing with exceptions, retention rates, variety of assessment portfolio, statewide mastery, align assessment with curriculum, measure value added growth of students. Preparation of future – student conduct, counselors, safe and orderly schools. Prepare students for future successes, monitor students at 1 and 5 year intervals after graduation, employer feedback, college graduation rate/apprenticeship. Critical thinking skills, success on job, assess math and science skills. Equity for all evaluate resources, graduation rates, minorities in gifted special ed., discipline referrals, after school programs, and adult education.
Table 6: Fundamentals use a variety of informal/formal assessments tools that use K-12 benchmarks, longitudinal studies, social and economic indicators. Lack of lawsuits equitable distribution of resources. Attendance of non educators at public forums, community satisfaction surveys. Refer to #1 variety of assessment tools, achieve plan stated in school to work plan. Analyze reflect on curriculum offerings and a variety of assessment tools.
Table 7: Curriculum availability, Student/Teacher ratio, Inclusion of density of population, indexes in the assessment of funding, and number of dollars per students. Number of students going on to post-secondary higher ed, successes in other fields, number of those needing remedial classes in higher ed. Crime-rate local and state, discipline reports - schools, drop-out rate, state-wide longitudinal reports of harassment, violence, etc. Facilities audit/inspection exit exams, pre/post tests. Look at and check WV REV government reports.
Table 8: Increase initial college going rate, increase enrollments in post-secondary education, analyze student follow up students, provide and participate in learning and opportunities in the community , and track non traditional students returning to participate educational opportunities. Increase community, service participation, increase community participation in community health, increase number of registered voters, and participants in elections and community functions. Curriculum aligned to promote critical thinking assessments that measure critical thinking, personnel evaluations include critical thinking measures, and the ability to make connections to life situations. Equal financial resources for districts, opportunities obtainable for student diversity handicapped accessibility, maximize access to vigorous programming for all students and appropriate staff for program delivery.
Table 9: Need prepare respectful, productive and responsible citizens – employment rates, employee satisfaction, college participation and performance rates, youth incarceration rates, voter registration participation, percentage of students engaged in community service and civic organizations. Need unique needs of all students, parental and student satisfaction surveys, teacher surveys. Need: success in college/workplace reports from post secondary levels and employers. Need love of life long learning, percentage of adults entering into continuing education opportunities. Need safe school environment, diversity cooperation and team members, number of students in alternative education, number of suspensions and expulsions, and number of violent incidences in schools.
Table 10: Educate whole child (3Rs) and life skills: civic index survey self-assess community civic life, grade level testing, assess student governance (find way to do this) student outcomes attendance rate, graduation rate, dropout rate, follow-up studies, post high school activities, juvenile crime rate, and discipline data from WVEIS. Safe and healthy environment facility evaluation, health services date, discipline data, absenteeism rate, survey school climate, and survey teachers, parents, students, and community members. Prepare for life and career with seamless system and variety of approaches follow up studies, student testing, student outcomes, assess reasons for student failures compile data and follow-up, personnel evaluation for variety of instructional approaches/strategies Educate every child motivating to potential, student interest surveys, follow-up testing results, personnel evaluation process. Broaden education, self-assess curriculum, connections with community - community business surveys student surveys # of community youth programs the school uses or partners with after school programs.
Table 11: Lifelong learners – college enrollment, library usage rates, adult education enrollment, track student progress beyond high school, reunion surveys, monitoring community activity. Whole child development, assessment to encourage promotion at mastery level, match assessment scores to grade level placement, assessment include writing of community partnerships/school volunteers. Aptitude testing to get an assessment of student grade-level, teacher/principal/school assessment? Move to change discussion. Assess system failures through surveys of incarcerated persons.
Table 12: Measure – evaluation that includes teacher testing, standardized testing, performance evaluations, surveys and feedback of community, attendance and dropout rates. Review and evaluation of curriculum and graduation requirements. Reading assessment. Warranty, standards and set for percentile/quartile, criterion-referenced testing. Involvement in community adult education classes.
Table 13: Increased graduation rate, fewer suspensions discipline referrals, lowered crime rate, increased attendance, increased post secondary going rates and number of students employed in field and trained, health needs are met teen pregnancy, Presidents physical fitness, overall wellness well-child care, more students involved in community, student mastery of IGOs. Adequately resources provided, student take more advanced, upper-level, AP, college courses, increase in entrepreneurs an d students receiving industry credentials, positive feedback on parent and employer student surveys. Alternative assessments used throughout K-12 to measure individual student success, performance based assessments Increase in number of hours of staff development that is both content specific and builds connections between/among all levels and all staff. Teachers use research-based practices in classroom. Test scores improve. Increase in PTA/PTA participation, for parent/teacher conferences, volunteers in school. Provide additional school nurse, and counselor services. Schools are clean, safe and accessible.
Question #3: What changes need to be made to achieve these purposes?
Table 6: Eliminate U.S. Dept. of Ed., all mandates should be fully funded, eliminate unnecessary mandates. Extend contracts to provide time for schools staff to work with parents Recruit retain quality teachers rev review policies for possible consolidation on elimination. Collaboration between agencies to assure nonduplicate of efforts. Assure students are not grade level before promotion shorten the school day year round schools. Cap on all student/teacher ratios.
Table 5: Thorough high quality education, intensified phonics, more teachers service personnel, reevaluate promotion process, eliminate tenure, link K-12 and high education curriculum standards, provide proper funding back teachers to have more planning time, make teaching fun again, and funding for outside activities.
Table 7: Fund facilities and teacher salaries at a serious level take caps off ne enrollment and reexamine state funding formulas and policies. Funding for arts and humanities mandates and funding for art teachers, librarians. Flexible avenues to certification reevaluate the certification system.
Table 1: Examine state aid formula, standards for teacher certification re-examine teacher certification process specific to teacher tenure establish levels for mastering the basic skills expand the concept of "alternative school" weed more school health nurses, counselors, social workers
Table 3: Need to build the capacity of educators to serve the new child diverse learners in dysfunctional families in changed and changing communities. Increase teacher quality across the state through staff development that is based on research, intensive, on-going and monitored. Full time counselors in all schools at all levels plus provisional of social services as needed. Change assessment from norm referenced to criterion referenced. Teacher contracts to include more time for staff development. Table 4: Increase the number of school readiness programs and after school programs. Increase salary, benefits, and create a career ladder for educators, change the funding formula to meet the unique needs of county systems, decrease the amount of paper work required of educators, and increase the number of support personnel, Increase collaboration among community service agencies to increase school resources.
Table 2: Change method of assessing student achievement to include authentic and performance based approaches, provide time for teachers to teach by hiring community people to do extra duties, revise state aide formula to help rural counties. Improve teacher education programs. Smaller class size, especially K-4
Table 8: Increase local control as opposed to state mandates, increase individual control of schools within the local district increase partnerships with community resources, eliminate unfunded mandates, reduce time students spend on buses.
Table 9: Get rid of funding structure by equalizing corporate land taxation by that of private citizens, counselors and nurses should not be counted as teachers in the school formula, increase parental decision making at the state and local levels, increase instruction time for students, and provide all students with opportunities to engage in challenging curriculum.
Table 13: Equal resources and funding statewide, monetary incentives for staff development, use internet to facilitate, communicate between local educators and WVDE.
Table 11: Require librarians and art teachers in all schools and change the funding formula to provide for this, lower student/teacher ratio, decrease paper work and reports, change personnel laws to get rid of ineffective personnel, and add to what we evaluate for teachers.
Table 12: Change the funding formula, staff development to provide teaches with variety of teaching strategies, challenge more advanced students, and stop promoting non readers, and improve and increase support services.