State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart welcomed participants from Wheeling and surrounding counties, thanking them for their participation in the structured Forums. The Forums will help shape the future of public education in the Mountain State.
State Board President J.D. Morris and Vice President Jim McKnight thanked participants and discussed the purposes of the program; Mr. McKnight served as moderator for the evening.
Participants were divided into 10 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 ideas about the purposes of public education, how results should be measured and how public schools can be improved.
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 educational tools to succeed in the working world. Prepare students for post-secondary citizenship. Provide character development. Expose students to career education. Prepare children for the future - socially, academically and emotionally. Provide education with least restrictive environment while also providing programs for children, that are not identified as "special needs". Allow children enough time to reach their potential. Provide opportunities for all children.
Table 2: To give all children well rounded education with a early solid academic foundation in reading, writing, and math. Prepare students to be employed in a job that will support self and family. Prepare student to contribute positively to society in whatever capacity they are capable as caring responsible citizens. Provide students education in a safe, clean, comfortable environment. Use public funds for public schools. Preparing students to enter the workforce or higher education by giving evey child an opportunity to learn social, lifelong learning, and basic academic skills.
Table 3: Prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st century becoming well-rounded lifelong learners prepared for the workforce and to live in a global society. Prepare students to effectively use technology as a tool to enhance their educational experiences as well as their life experience. Engage parents as part of the educational process from early childhood through high school. Develop student critical thinking skills in order to enable them to fully participate in a democratic society.
Table 4: Teach basic skills so students have the knowledge base from which to operate. Help students become positive citizens through character and moral education. Produce students who can compete globally in a global economy. Teach students to learn how to learn and appreciate it (be lifelong learners, self motivated learners). Make students feel valued as individuals.
Table 5: Provide enough common experiences to enable students to become cooperative citizens. Teach students to learn so they can become lifelong learners. Provide students with the skills to become productive citizens. Reach all of the kids. Prepare students for college, postsecondary activities/training and to challenge students to meet their maximum potential.
Table 6: Provide students with skills for a quality life by giving equal access to opportunities to reach their fullest potential and enhance the quality of their lives. Prepare children to live in both today's world and in the future- to become lifelong learners and be productive citizens. Establish a basic criteria that all children are expected to meet in order to survive in this country/world. Provide students with appropriate social experiences to reflect our democracy and be socially responsible and productive citizens.
Table 7: Educate students to their maximum potential for lifelong learning, social responsibility, community involvement. Provide a basis for lifelong learning skills that will produce productive citizens that you would like to have as neighbors. Equal opportunities for quality education for all students especially poor and rural children. Prepare students for citizenship, employment and postsecondary experiences. Create engaging learning environments for all students.
Table 8: Provide all students with social, academic and lifelong learning skills for acquiring knowledge, provide experiences and train students to enter the workforce, prepare students for higher education and offer a varied curriculum that instills an appreciation for and knowledge of the arts. Build community leaders by creating a literate society which can penetrate characteristic, associated with a civil and productive society. Provide a safe environment for children to learn. Provide opportunities for parents, community and business to be involved in process. Ensure acquisition basic reading, math and computation skills.
Table 9: Provide all students with necessary skills to become successful adults including life skills workplace technical skills, basic skills, higher level thinking skills and critical thinking skills. Provide free effective and thorough education in adequate and modern facilities by effectively managing resources. Teach values to understand tolerate, and coexist. Teach sense of community and include all public in education. Communicate effectively with parents and community about what our goals are for the education of our children.
Table 10: Prepare students for employment in an ever changing world economy which requires frequent career shifts. Provide education for civic participation - enable students to become a positive force in community life. Develop literate citizens teach basic academic skills. Teach critical thinking and problem solving skills. Develop well-rounded students with self understanding. Fulfill pragmatic responsibility to society.
Question #2: How can we know if these purposes are being achieved?
Table 1: Provide educational tools for all students to succeed in the working world. A balance of standardized and individual assessment to determine mastery of concepts. % of students graduating. Employment rate Scholarship recipients. Post graduation surveys to assess career paths. Employer satisfaction surveys. Early identification, decrease social promotion. Prepare students for post secondary citizenship. Community service participation. Voter participation. Student assessment of serviced and participation. Number of students in juvenile court system. Participation in church and civic activities. Mentoring. Discipline records. Evaluation of school-to-work program. Evaluation of primary level career programs.
Table 2: Gather statistics on graduation, achievement, attendance survey business and industry to employment determine student success. ACT/SAT scores. Higher education technical school completion. Unemployment rate, welfare statistics, medium income, numbe of students on CHIPS, longevity on job, and business and industry study. Volunteer statistics Juvenile rate Level of parent involvement Economic development of community. Faculty inspection Number of teachers students ill Discipline rates Absentee rate and Parent/Teacher satisfaction surveys. Provide level of technology in class room s. Speed of technology. Quality of school. Amount of money spent on private schools.
Table 3: Employee retention rates. Number of students getting additional training. Employment number, levels of jobs, where employed, length of employment. Follow-up surveys of students and employers. Evaluate skills based on IGOs Evaluate skills on national technology standards. Evaluate skills on software applications. Earning of certifications by students. Parent/teacher conferences. Parent/guardian satisfaction surveys. Voter registration and turnouts. Community volunteer/service organizations participation.
Table 4: Public schools should measure basic skills and knowledge base through multiple measures rather than relying solely on standardized testing. Measures to included but not limited to diagnostic testing, benchmarks, rubrics, portfolios, criterion referenced tests. To measure whether students are competitive in a global economy included graduate rates, number of students going to post secondary education, and longitudinal data from business and industry. To determine if students are lifelong motivated learners, we need to look at the dropout rates, and post secondary education numbers. Measures of whether students feel valued as individuals could include decreases in acts of violence safer schools, citizenship awards, and the relationship between teachers and parents.
Table 5: Lower crime rate, rate of poverty will decrease, students will move away and continue partnerships with education. Diversity of extra curricular activities within the school. Community involvement service. Property value with participation in community clubs, activities, literacy rate, less transcient. Lower dropout rate, increase in graduates, standardized test scores, increase in participation in extracurricular activities, drop in poverty rate.
Table 6: Skills and aptitude tests, work study programs, technical tests and value assessments. Senior Projects School Climate survey completed by parents, teachers, and students. Samples/examples portfolios which also include learning style assessments, interest inventories. School environment assessment safe, clean and conducive to learning and creativity should reflect the attitude of children. Self assessment for stakeholders.
Table 7: Employment statistics, crime rate, mental health statistics, voter participation rate, voter registration. Employment and college-going rate. Attendance rates, attitude surveys, parent surveys, community surveys/involvement, use of simulations, student-directed learning, improved test scores, student self-evaluation.
Table 8: Employment rate, test scores criteria referenced testing, county input on grade level basic skills. Absenteeism dropout rate. Followup surveys – how well doing in post secondary education, college going rate. Contribution to society volunteerism community service.
Table 9: Satisfaction and other surveys of collaboration with business, colleges, parents. Employment rates, types of employment. Feedback from colleges on college entrance exams, graduation rates remedial coursework taken. Achievement tests for basics skills such as balancing checkbook, completing resumes, etc. Community involvement, decrease in violence, crime rate. National data such as Gross National Product, global comparisons.
Table 10: Prepare students for employment in an ever changing world economy which requires authentic assessment of multiple student performance. Longitudinal study of graduates, postsecondary attendance and completion. Gainful employment with retention. Participation in civic responsibilities. Employer followup surveys and studies.
Question #3: What changes need to be made to achieve these purposes?
Table 1: Hold teachers and administrators accountable for proper use of the evaluation process and formally extend the teacher induction mentoring program to three years. Local schools and teachers must have the flexibility top educate students without so many mandates from the State Board and Legislature. Educate legislators regarding the needs of public school systems. Make early intervention for primary students a priority and provide full time counselors in every building to assist with this effort. More computers in our schools along with technical specialists at all grade levels. Improve cooperation between K-12 system and higher education.
Table 2: National level a strong initiative to strengthen family values and acountability. More business involved in education process such as textbook adoption curricular content. Change school funding formula to provide for individuals needs such as full time counselors who provide therapeutic services and more nurses. Give county more school calendar starting day, ending date of school calendar to make up time lost. Use instructional time for instruction change faculty senate day to not be counted as instructional time 180 days should mean 180 days. Addition al contract hours to provide for staff development.
Table 3: Legislative funding of technology training upgrading and maintenance of equipment by employing a full time technology support person coordinator in every school. Flexible schedules for school employees to allow parents to meet with teachers before and after school. School educators need to get the "good" word out about school to the public. Change hiring and seniority practices. Redefine safety issues in schools. Improve teacher preparation programs. Raise expectations standards for students and teachers. Change the school calendar to allow more time for teaching and learning and pay teachers for the additional time.
Table 4: Reward quality effective teachers with higher salaries and better benefits so we can be competitive with other states. Calendar changes such as year round schools. Take education out of the political arena let State Board make the decisions. Reduce standardized testing and the reliance upon results.
Table 5: Create schools to meet individual student needs.
Table 6: Recognize students from birth on. Make education the sole purpose of our society through full suppor6t of our parents, government, business and all parts of our society. Recognize that everyone is now has been or shall be a teacher. Give proper funding to all schools and levels. No unfunded mandates. Funding should include personnel as well as equipment and materials. Public education is more inclusive and reflective of students talents and needs.
Table 7: Lower class sizes. Get rid of ineffective teachers. Eliminate SBA "economies of scale." More local control. Spread education funds more equally among all students. Stronger teacher preparation programs. Engage whole village in raising children.. Clarify and define the use of technology to improve teaching, i.e. video conferencing, vocational education, application/equipment, e-business, e-commerce. Improve communication between educators and the community.
Table 8: Narrowing curriculum by focusing on basics and technology in early grades – K-2/K-3. Communications– reading/writing. Computation skills– mathematics. Collaborative network– nurses, social services, therapists, counselors, parents, etc. Instructional materials tailored to correlate with criteria. Parent volunteers– training, guided. Fund or eliminate unfunded mandates. Cap off special education.
Table 9: Reflect on assessment data and provide necessary education for students and/or teachers where needed. Provide consequences– hold schools accountable and students. Additional funding for upkeep of technology– provide position of technology technical support. Change funding formula so teachers, administrators and other support personnel are counted separately. More emphasis and financial support at all levels. Smaller class size at ll levels. Provide communication to invite community into school. Provide group and community education. Personnel to take on other duties of teachers allowing teachers to teach. Permanent solution on Tomblin v. Gainer. Fund mandates.
Table 10: Identify exemplary practices/programs and replicate. Forge closer ties between the education system and business and industry, including emphasis on job shadowing. Formula funding is no sufficient to provide the required instructional staff. Funding for qualify staff development. Continue emphasis on funding for pre-service preparation of teachers.