State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart welcomed participants, thanking them for their interest in helping shape the future of public education in the Mountain State.
Following introductory remarks by State Board President J.D. Morris and Vice President Jim McKnight, participants were divided into 24 tables to discuss the three questions which are being posed to Forum participants throughout the state. The structured Forum gave all participants an opportunity to share their ideas about public education.
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 (as provided by each table) to the three questions:
Question #1: What should be the purposes of public education?
Table 1: Provide a well balanced quality educational experience that includes a wide range of curriculum offerings as well as extra curricular offerings to all students to become life long learners and productive citizens. Prepare students to compete and survive today’s world and enable them to change the world.
Table 2: Provide all students the opportunity to participate fully in society in terms of being literate, productive, accountable citizens. Provide curriculum which will prepare students to fully participate in tomorrow’s society. Set achievable standards that must be obtained before progression to next level. Challenge students to achieve at their highest level. Provide equal opportunities statewide.
Table 3: Provide education for all children Pre K-12. Provide a safe learning environment. Prepare students for employment postsecondary education. Foster personal acceptance of responsibility and accountability. Enable students to enforce their potential.
Table 4: Provide students with opportunities for independence and choice to achieve the quality of life they desire. Prepare model citizens.
Table 5: Develop communication, math and science skills to be competitive globally. Help each child to reach their full learning potential and to develop their talents. Provide hands on training in modern technology. Create a multicultural curriculum. Instill a love of learning from womb to tomb.
Table 6: Create lifelong learners who are productive citizens and possess skills to survive in future careers. Teach students to think, problem-solve and communicate. Create a global awareness and an understanding of diversity in our students. Ensure a quality curriculum and quality instruction in order to achieve purpose #1. Assist with the development of self-awareness and morals of students.
Table 7: Provide students with the abilities to make decisions become life long learners and show productivity in a rewarding life. Teach basic skills that includes critical and thinking skills. Provide a safe and secure environment for students. Provide an equitable education for all. Create individuals who are tolerant of others.
Table 8: Provide skills, attitudes, knowledge and ideals to become productive citizens. Provide skills for employment. Provide education for each and every child to reach highest. Provide specific goals for different groups.
Table 9: Prepare students to be good citizens and neighbors. Teaching life skills for the real world. Provide students a variety of experiences in all areas of curriculum. Provide appropriate education for all students to the maximum extent possible. Prepare students physically as well as mentally with p.c. skills and encourage a variety of recreational skills.
Table 10: Maximize each child’s potential by ensuring and providing equal educational opportunities for all children by preparing them to function as responsible citizens. Children should receive a well-rounded education that includes but is not limited to basic skills, life skills, fundamentals in humanities, mathematics, sciences, language, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
Table 11: Provide FAPE to every child’s unique needs with fiscal responsibility. Provide basic skills at each level to prepare for the next level and college or post secondary activities. Provide a safe environment so all children can learn. Be part of the community and the community should be part of the school. Provide exposure to careers or career alternatives.
Table 12: Maximize individual student potential, talents and choices. Develop economically productive and democratically responsible citizens. Promote mental and physical health.
Table 13: Teach authentic lifelong learning skills for continuing education and for success in the workplace and community. Provide a safe and supportive environment for learning with others. Teach basic knowledge as a foundation for meaningful learning. Teach problem solving and critical creative thinking skills. Guide students to develop interpersonal skills that will enable students to work cooperatively.
Table 14: Develop students/adults who are literate in all forms of communication (visual, verbal, auditory, kinesthetics) Provide knowledge base so that students will develop understanding and respect for diversity. Provide well-rounded education in order to be productive citizens who will be active participants in democracy. Provide knowledge and experience base so that students can create and appreciate the arts. Create lifelong learners who will think and solve problems and who will have general, transferable skills.
Table 15: Prepare students for the lifelong joy of independent learning by encouraging students to become well rounded adults. Assist each child to reach full potential by providing students with a wide variety of experiences. Provide opportunities for students, parents, to learn and prepare students to be good citizens and become good parents.
Table 16: Capture and promote programs in a safe environment that will prepare all students to become productive, responsible, caring citizens and lifelong learners. Prepare students to become divergent thinkers and problem solvers that will create a new and better society. Support students in reaching their full potential while establishing a positive self-esteem. Provide and deliver a high quality curriculum in the areas of reading, math, science, and social studies. Be accessible and equitable in delivery of instruction.
Table 17: Teach life long learning/produce graduates with basic skills that can lead healthier and secure life. To produce lifelong learners and goals they need to be productive caring members of society. Prepare students who are literate and have critical thinking skills. Provide all students a strong and positive educational experience. Prepare students for higher education and a successful career to teach about life, living, and work.
Table 18: Prepare students to be productive members of society. Help students develop skills to become effective communicators. Provide a safe, risk-free environment. Provide all students with a world of knowledge. Motivate students.
Table 19: Arm each child with the tools to reach their social, emotional, intellectual goals. Help young people become productive members of their community and nation. Teach the fundamentals. Provide a safe learning environment. Develop lifelong learners.
Table 20: Provide students with a foundation to become productive, lifelong learners through a balanced education. Provide a balanced education with an emphasis on reading, mathematics, science, geography, etc. Provide students with opportunities to contribute and be productive members of teams. Provide students with opportunities and instruction to help stay abreast of technological advances. Introduce students to career awareness, introduce students to real world experiences, expand students horizons, and encourage working with diverse groups.
Table 21: Prepare all students for productive, meaningful adulthoods, provide them with a core set of knowledge and varied curriculum. Provide all students with a solid foundation of fundamentals. Prepare all students to make informed and moral decisions in a culturally diverse and global society. Prepare students to become lifelong learners. Instill a sense of self worth and social responsibility in all students.
Table 22: Develop well rounded individuals with the ability to find and focus on their strong points. Create students who have the skills and desire to be lifelong learners. Prepare individuals to be a knowledgeable and participative citizens in a democracy. Provide the atmosphere that encourages, integrity, character and family values. Provide a safe environment that encourages students to express themselves.
Table 23: Teach basic skills (reading, writing, mathematics). Provide opportunities to foster tolerance socialization and to become a contributing member of society. Teach civic involvement. To identify and provide for social, emotional, health and educational needs. General enthusiasm and skills for lifelong learning.
Table 24: Develop competent learners. Provide individualized instructional approaches based on needs. Provide a balance of knowledge and skills within an integrated curriculum. Promote students based on mastery and continuous progress. Encourage and foster parent participation.
Question #2: How can we know if these purposes are being achieved?
Table 1: Extremely important that schools are accountable through more than one measure such as achievement tests to measure basic level of knowledge. Criterion referenced tests. Authentic assessment. Application if knowledgeable. Portfolio assessment. Percent and business satisfaction surveys drop out and graduation rates. Success after high school follow up after graduation 1-3-5 years. Look at improvement or nonimprovement. In community (crime rates, volunteer turnout, etc. Student self-esteem College admissions and transition to work force.
Table 2: Long term – accurate outcome measurements on each student. Increases – percapita income, growth rate, employment, increase business growth and number of jobs in WV. Literacy rate, employment rates, completion in post secondary education, increase in attendance and cultural events. Parental involvement. Decreases – Public assist, drugs and alcohol, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, and dropout rates. Short-term - Performance based criterion referenced education that is measured in C.R.P.B. testing.
Table 3: Establish pre-K statewide education for all students preK-12. Students assessments including, but not limited to: testing, portfolio, teacher/counselor assessment, and alternative to SAT9. Assessment of educators. Use assessment data for instructional improvement, we collect mountains of data to “rate” schools and county school systems, need to make certain that this is not the only use of the data.
Table 4: The most important things in life cannot be measured. May look at postsecondary participation and develop shadowing of each student for five years after graduation.
Table 5: For this purpose school provide hands on training in modern technology. Measures effectiveness by, requiring tech. driven projects, set tech. benchmarks at county level, partner with private sector. Standardized tests, local and state, national and international competitions. Create/revise standardized tests that are more appropriate to our community and cultural heritage. Employment rates, post graduate surveys, track achievement. Integrate cultural diversity across all curricular areas, require projects. Are classes being offered for continuing education throughout the community. Are cultural classes, the arts, etc., being offered in the community
Table 6: Level of community involvement. Increased attendance in postsecondary education. Decrease in unemployment rates. Follow-up surveys. More positive response from business/industry. Evolving/building portfolio. More positive response from business/industry. Authentic assessment. Reduction of hate crimes, decrease racial discrimination/harassment, etc. More caring community. Testing. Use results to improve instruction and curriculum. Qualitative and quantitative data. Assessment portfolio. Decrease rates of school/Community violence, juvenile delinquency and prison populations.
Table 7: The presence of community based experiences, parental surveys, interviews and one-on-one student/teacher experiences. Reviewing standardized tests, student products, grade point average and self-evaluation by students will indicate the teaching of basic skills that include critical and creative thinking skills. Schools that provide a safe and secure environment will have an absence in student incidences, using safety checklists, and accurate reporting to report. Equitable education is identified through staffing and expenditures at the school level. Presence of programs such as positive discipline and peer mediation indicate teaching and learning by students concerning tolerance.
Table 8: Measure unemployment, dropout rates, literacy rates, discipline referrals. Value-based assessment. Tract students for four years after graduation. Measure individual achievement and compare to state and world benchmarks. More career testing.
Table 9: Student testing. Crime rate, employment rate, dropout rate, school attendance records, college entrance exams. Surveys (track students after high school) Observation of behavior, emphasis on community, evaluate depth and number of progress. Incentive programs, teacher documentation, attendance parent.
Table 10: Formal-Standardized testing, teacher-made test. Informal-teacher observations, student portfolios, parent input, study the school’s graduates/surveys, study students success in market, examine the rate of attendance and suspensions, examine attendance in remedial college classes. Test and evaluate teachers to ensure they know how and what to teach.
Table 11: To provide FAPE to accommodate every child’s unique needs when fiscal responsibilities that utilization of Inter/National testing for the benefit of the students and not as a measurement of school/community/state tax $ per pupil. Discovering students leaving system, student portfolio from preK-12 with parent involvement, measure each school against itself.
Table 12: Increased rates of employment, post-secondary and college completion. Use criterian-based assessments measuring what we (community) want children to know - utilize authentic assessment strategies such as portfolios.
Table 13: Authentic assessments. Portfolio for students. Employer surveys. Graduation rates for postsecondary. Senior projects. Survey students, parents and faculty. Opportunities for feedback. Teach authentic lifelong learning skills for continuing education and for success in the workplace and community.
Table 14: Performance portfolios based on authentic tasks varied and multiple assessments of student achievement over time, including but not limited to, portfolios, teacher-made tests, standardized tests, creative projects, performance, etc. Decrease in crime rate and school violence. Teacher observation of successful participation in group work, projects, activities, etc. Number of participants and active involvement in democratic processes, public forums, voting, etc., this applies to in school and in the community. Performance portfolios and products Attendance in and support of cultural events in all four disciplines of arts. Number of students in the four arts at all grade levels. Number of programs offered and specialists available. College going rate. College graduation rate. Post high school follow up surveys. Employment rates and data. Number of public welfare recipients. Participants in community education programs.
Table 15: Establish rigorous standards, expect students and teachers to meet standards, then measure students, teachers and the school’s performance by using multiple evaluation tools such as peer evaluation, observations, standardized testing, research, semi-annual IEPs for all students. Provide extensive training for teachers to be determined by teachers.
Table 16: Enrollment in post secondary evaluation/training. Performanced based evaluations, including community service, mentorships, etc. Criterion based assessment, observation, teacher, judgment, norm-referenced testing, evaluation teams, portfolios. Examine dropout rates, discipline referrals, employer surveys, literacy levels, types of employment available. Effective teacher preparation and evaluation of current teachers.
Table 17: Establish benchmarks for students that are measured through multiple assessments that measure basic skills, healthy living and productive, responsible citizens. Assess on individual basis through charting mapping development skills. Measure local social economic growth, after 5, 10, 15 years.
Table 18: Measurements should emphasize quality of life measures, i.e., % of poverty, crime rate, teen pregnancy, voter registration, volunteerism, graduation rates, home ownership, accessibility of health care. Portfolio including writing, other student work. Surveys of parents, teachers, parents, and students. Teacher observations, student achievement scores, student demonstrations.
Table 19: Volunteerism/community participation, student attendance, extended school programs, graduation rates, economic growth. Volunteerism, crime rate, employment, voter registration and employment, tolerance. Standardized testing, library use, productive employment, and public assistance. Condemned facilities, crime rate juveniles, motivation to attend school, school violence, and number of attorneys. Post secondary education, non traditional cultural arts, library use, and community involvement.
Table 20: Graduation rates, dropout rates, % of students in postsecondary education, senior projects.
Table 21: Tracking of students after high school. Standardized testing but pre-test and post-test. Setting goals-career, curricular for each and every student. Survey and communicate with business. Discipline rate, incarceration rates, attendance rates, etc/
Table 22: Dropout rates, gainful employment, parent satisfaction survey, annual student satisfaction survey, continuing post graduation surveys. Use of library and other continuing education tools. Voter participation rate. Decrease in school-related crimes, teen pregnancy rates, incarceration rates down, discipline problems. Student surveys.
Table 23: Standardized testing, classroom performance and mastery of basic skills. Continuous improvement of state’s quality of life including postsecondary education enrollment, community education, service involvement, business and community partnerships.
Table 24: Assess competent learner repertoires of students by gathering multi-sourced data from teachers, parents, students and administrators. Develop competent learners.
Question #3: What changes need to be made to achieve these purposes?
Table 1: Change school aid formula to provide more flexibility for personnel and facilities or give local level ability to generate funds, and allow flexibility at local level to make decisions, including personnel and curriculum issues.
Table 2: Let the teacher teach. Stop adding programs to curriculum. Reduce paperwork. Remove fluff programs. Don’t allow a small number of problem students to deprive the majority of the students a quality education. Providing paid time for teachers for staff development, professional development and curricular development.
Table 3: Adequate funding for expanded facilities, new ways to fund, tax reform. Expand use of instructional technology. Increase informed parental involvement. Teacher cooperative planning.
Table 4: Increase state aid formula. Alternative graduation standards, other math offerings, realistic offerings to career majors, foreign language majors. Real site-based management run by teachers, parents, and community. Lower class size, fully equipped labs of all kinds, competitive recruiting and retention of teachers, strong evaluation and termination of poor teachers.
Table 5: Reform state funding formula to make education a top priority. Hire more teachers; technicians for technology labs. Provide for expanding curricular offerings for educational equity in all communities. Dollars for mandated programs. Encourage and promote professional development for teachers equally in all curriculums and levels. Remove disruptive students. Keep facilities open for community and educational use.
Table 6: Better communication between K-12 and postsecondary education. Input and better communication between all stakeholders. Revisit school aid formula, funding. Invest human resources needed to support current technology. Use data to impact instruction. Individualize analysis. Reconfigure classes. Decrease counselor/student ratio. Fund all mandates. New ways to fund facilities. Cooperation/collaboration with business (true partnerships). Don’t ignore arts and humanities. Schools to be “hub” of community, more accessible. Continue to address intolerance.
Table 7: Create more academic competition. Concentrate more time on instruction by exploring variations on the length of the school day and school year. Early grades focus on reading, writing, math. Improve teacher evaluation procedures. Stick with one initiative long enough to provide a valid evaluation. Don’t be afraid of change.
Table 8: Different objectives for individual students. Teacher and administrators have more say in discipline. Smaller teacher/student ratios set by the class type (PE, science, math, etc.). Higher education provide better prepared new teachers. Teach 10 commandments and the golden rule.
Table 9: Restructure traditional school day, more time for classes at high school level. More support for public education. Improve student discipline, decision-making power at local level with teacher and principals, more authority for teachers. Smaller schools with smaller population or method for dealing with large populations. Don’t rely on test scores, look at students in a broader context of skill acquisition with informed assessment. Eliminate social promotion at elementary level.
Table 10: Eliminate grade levels (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Eliminate age levels for school entry. Eliminate block scheduling. Recognize a child may proceed faster in one content area than another. Stop teaching to the test (pre-test, practice test) Spend more time on a well-balanced curriculum. Smaller class size especially in secondary level. Provide appropriate related/support staff/counselors/nurses. Teach specific, fundamental science, not general science. Recognize achievement outside of school curriculum for graduation credit, jobs, sports. This is not a trial run...it is the real thing.
Table 11: Change the way public education is funded. Remove some burdens from teachers so they can teach. Re-examine the salaries of teachers. If you want highly qualified teachers you must pay them. No unfunded mandates.
Table 12: Reorganize schools and curriculum based on scientific educational research rather than traditional practice. Provide curriculum that engages students and meets their individual interests, choices, learning styles, avocations and abilities. Create greater professional autonomy to meet standards based accountability. Local control which includes local responsibility for quality.
Table 13: Length of school year/day. Incentives for quality teaching. Applying quality standards. Changing teacher preparation programs. Staff development. Interlink the disciplines. Support system for new teachers. Time allocated for teacher interaction. Funding.
Table 14: Provide adequate funding. Revamp school aid formula. Change in SBA guidelines Provide ongoing equitable and meaningful professional development in all content area. There should be no unfunded mandates. Change in hiring firing promotion policies. Provide meaningful professional development so that all teachers can integrate diversity education in their particular. Diversity education throughout curriculum areas. Provide more resources funding, curriculum, resources. Increase community education. Provide arts specialists in all 4 arts disciplines. Increase funding Increase time at the elementary level. Have flexibility of schedules. Increase teaching of problem solving.
Table 15: Adapt instructional practices to meet the needs of all students in today’s society. Teachers should be paid based on classroom performance. Provide funds for extended day, extended year, summer school, etc. basic skills in K-3. Parenting classes. Preschool education.
Table 16: Hire more elementary counselors to identify at-risk students early to promote parent involvement and to establish early prevention/intervention programs. Stop test driven curriculum and comparisons of schools based on results. Re-examine funding formulas (building, teachers, etc.). Reconsider school campus configuration to include K-12 and promote community involvement.
Table 17: Change and increase funding for teachers salaries, school construction, professional development. Extended employment for teachers. Increase teacher ratios per students.
Table 18: Education must start earlier. Increase funding to schools. Recruit the best. Provide lifelong learning opportunities for teachers. Education must be a shared responsibility among school, parents and community. Need to explore and implement new approaches to teaching and learning.
Table 19: Public education system to provide for teacher enrichment training. Additional money in the classroom for supplies and technology. More flexibility for teachers in classroom structure. Provisions for the extremely disruptive students. Revisit state mandate and SB300. Provide opportunities for experimental curriculum. Additional funding for the arts and vocational programs.
Table 20: Gear instruction toward success instead of failure. Improve parental involvement. Promote enthusiasm in teachers and students. Motivate students and teachers. School based decisions on what is best for students. High standards. Practice “best practices” in classroom. More integration of curriculum. Connect classroom learning with real life. Connect learning with life skills. Application of math and science to real world. More cooperative learning. Allow students to be a part of decision making. Integrate technology into instruction and curriculum. Access and availability. Funding for equipment and training for teachers and students. Funding for providing the opportunities conceptualized under School To-Work. Opportunities for community service. Mentoring. School-based organizations supported by business and community.
Table 21: Statewide – Bring about a cultural change that elevates the appreciation for and a willingness to support and fund a world-class educational system. Parents expand or combine human services with schools to start with success in reading, math, and behavior in lower grades. Hold parents as well as teachers accountable. Greater emphasis on teachers, evaluations, training, support, retraining, continuing education, etc.
Table 22: Develop well rounded individuals with the ability to focus on their strong points. Create students who have the skills and desire to be lifelong learners. Prepare individuals to be acknowledgeable and participative citizen in a democracy. Provide the atmosphere that encourages integrity, character and family values. Provide a safe environment that encourages students to express themselves.
Table 23: Make education relevant to lifelong learning and development by connecting more social institutions to schools. Restructure the organization– teachers, curriculum, professional rules and responsibilities. Design planning processes on strategic planning models. Restructure administrative processes. More specialists to meet the growing demands of education and diversity of student needs.
Table 24: Teachers and administrators performance replacing seniority with continuous monitoring and support for improvement. Identify effective practices that can be replicated. Shared responsibilities for learning. Quality staff development accessible to teachers and administrators. Smaller student/teacher ratio.