State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart welcomed parents, educators and community leaders, thanking them for their commitment to public education and their participation in the Education Forum.
Following introductory remarks by State Board Vice President Jim McKnight and Board member Ronald B. Spencer, participants were divided into 20 tables to discuss three questions addressing the future of public education in the Mountain State.
Vice President McKnight served as moderator for the evening, leading participants through the Forum's agenda. The structured program gave all participants an 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 (as provided by each table) to the three questions at the Mineral Wells Education Forum:
Question #1: What should be the purposes of public education?
Table 1: To prepare all students to become productive members of society, by providing a well balanced and challenging course of study that prepares them for post secondary education or employment. Provide for nurturing environment through collaborative parent/educator/student partnership.
Table 2: Provide a well-balanced education for children to include skills for everyday life. Feed the soul (education needs to encompass a broad educational base with diverse cultures and historical figures. Promote individual development (caring, intelligent adults) and integrate these same individuals in to nation. Provide qualified educators. Provide an atmosphere conducive to learning with an emphasis on teaching not parenting.
Table 3: Prepare students for lifelong employment by educating all students to the maximum of each child's ability. Prepare students to be lifelong learners. Prepare students to be responsible citizens. Should stay on the cutting edge of technology. Prepare students to be team players.
Table 4: Impart a certain base level of knowledge. Should help all students reach their potential. Help each student become responsible, contributing members of society. Provide a safe learning environment. Prepare students for life after high school and prepare to be lifelong learners.
Table 5: Enable students to master the basic academic and technological skills. Ensure an excellent teaching base with qualified teachers. Provide skills including social skills that are needed in the real world. Focus on the child as an individual. Educate the citizenry so they can fully participate in the democratic way of life.
Table 6: Teach students which resources are available, where to find them, how to access them and how to use them. Promote lifelong learners. Teach ALL students no matter of ability, background or financial status as much as possible. Prepare students for career and citizenship. Provide diverse opportunities to assist in making them successful.
Table 7: Prepare students for careers and or post secondary education, and to be lifelong learners with problem solving and critical thinking skills. Recruit, train, retrain, and retain educational staff. Provide integrated basic skills in reading English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Health and Physical Education. Prepare students to be responsible citizens as well as to function in a global economy. Provide children equal opportunities to learn in a variety of modalities.
Table 8: Provide an understanding of government to produce responsible citizens and to prepare them for the future. Promote literacy. Develop the skills to hold a job and succeed in the new technological century. Develop social interaction skills based on ethic and moral principles. Develop students who are healthy and fit in a safe environment.
Table 9: Provide rich and diverse curriculum which will allow students to compete international market place. Prepare for world of work and participate in a highly prepared work force. Prepare well rounded students in the areas of intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. Develop a cultural heritage and develop good citizenship for an democratic society. Provide encouragement for recreational opportunities, including extra curricular activities with special emphasis on the fine arts.
Table 10: Teach students basic skills of language arts and math; and develop an appreciation of the fine arts. Develop self-esteem, high goals, a sense of belonging in school and community through nurturing, encouraging/challenging all classes of students. Prepare students for the workforce and adult life being flexible to change and promoting healthy behaviors. Prepare constructive, contributing members of society to respect life/property/self. Develop lifelong learners.
Table 11: Teach basic skills and the application thereof as the basis for lifelong learning. Teach students how to be productive in society in whatever goal/career they choose. Teach understanding of freedom and democracy in a global society. Help each child reach his/her potential by providing equal opportunities for all children regardless of ethnicity and diversity. Teach cooperative skills and promote self-esteem and encouragement.
Table 12: Ensure that students acquire the tools for HOW to learn, academic/reasoning skills, instill the joy of learning to become lifelong learners, and therefore prepare for a competitive/global economy. Ensure that all children should have a free public education in a safe environment. Ensure that students learn vocational and life skills. Ensure that the educational opportunities provided should meet the individual needs of the students and receive parental support.
Table 13: Meet the needs of the whole child by providing a well rounded education with a focus on essential skills. Prepare our children for their future as lifelong learners in an ever changing world to achieve their fullest potential.
Table 14: Provide a well rounded academic and social foundation for our students. Sit a foundation emphasizing values. Prepare students with life skills to be independent and to succeed in whatever they are going to do after graduation, ie., work, technical school, college. Develop an educated citizenry that can perpetuate this democratic society.
Table 15: Empower children to become lifelong learners. Prepare students for successful world citizenship, including meaningful work. Enable students to problem solve, master basic skills, and be creative. Teach tolerance respect team work and enable students to develop multiculture world view. Enable students to set personal and academic goals as well as explore and clarify values and the meaning of responsibility.
Table 16: Master reading by Grade 3. (Comprehension)Develop skills to work with others teamwork. Take responsibility for own education work ethic. Ability to set goals and meet standards goal setting. Sustained teacher training in "non-title" schools.
Table 17: Teach the basic skills, math communication science, the arts and health. Teach students how to think and create. Produce responsible citizens. Incorporate parents and the community into the education process. Teach students how to communicate well speaking, writing, nonverbal, communication.
Table 18: Provide a well rounded education through teaching basic skills and life skills. Teach students reasoning skills through the use of creativity, problem solving and decision making. Preserve democracy by producing well rounded citizens that understand the processes of government. Teach students conflict resolution, social skills, and how to deal with diversity. Expose students to as many career paths as possible and prepare students for the world of work or higher education.
Table 19: Prepare our children for their dreams and travels via technology or working speaking problem solving and basic skills. Prepare students to be productive citizens to advance the human race. Teach basic skills through 8th grade with a liberal arts education 9-12 career exploration with no majors - 1 optional to do STW or -----in HS. Prepare students for their future career and future education of their choice. Stick to the basics and provide education so students will be able to survive in this world.
Table 20: Prepared students to be responsible citizens in a free society by giving the responsibility quality instruction and motivation. Teach basics so students can solve problems and be able to think for themselves; provide encouragement so students can reach their full potential. Motivate students to pursue knowledge both in and outside of the school setting prepare students to be lifelong learners.
Question #2: How can we know if these purposes are being achieved?
Table 1: Dropout rate and number of students taking remedial courses. Number of students not completing postsecondary coursework. Followup surveys of students to find out what jobs they have, success in employment community, leadership and participation. Student surveys, business satisfaction surveys. Measure standards through achievement tests develop standards that measure desired outcomes and hold students accountable. Performance measures such as senior projects.
Table 2: Provide the well balanced education for West Virginia children to include skills. Judgements of good educational leaders, test scores including portfolio assessment, number of individuals voting, surveys parental involvement, historical, multiple sources, consumers, students. Look at the curriculum. Violence and crime rates. Quality of the arts.
Table 3: Drop out rate reduced. Students pursuing vocational and postsecondary experiences Employment rate up students are employed. Tracking p.s. experiences or gainful employment. Employer colleges conduct satisfaction surveys. Increased number of voters. Reduced crime rates. Reduced unemployment Reduced welfare roles. Working computer labs. Employment. Responsible workers.
Table 4: Grades; standardized testing; pre-and post testing. Follow-up surveys of graduates; success in college and other postsecondary education; job training and employment; college-going rates. Absenteeism, job training and employment; volunteerism, discipline referrals.
Table 5: Track graduation rates, dropout rates, postsecondary rates, employment rates. Standardized testing, measure competency on a continuum. Follow up study of students at fixed intervals 3 yrs./5yrs. Looking for quality of life impact. Status in labor market. Additional educational and training attainment. Participation in the political/civic process. Follow up study of teacher continuing education. Use the results to ensure a competent teaching force.
Table 6: Pre and post survey of students in high school; required research project at each level; tracking with portfolios; contact available resources to develop reporting system. Survey graduates at intervals; measure community progress, monitor career changes, measure income levels, poll colleges. Measure and compare unemployment rates, dropout rates, college-going rates. Survey and compare unemployment rates, crime rates, voter rates, community volunteers, participation in public meetings. Monitor career changes, adaptation to technology.
Table 7: Collect statewide sample of data from employers concerning employment readiness and success on job; review statewide economic indicators; national certification in skills areas. Number of college teacher education programs; number of quality professional development opportunities; success rate on Praxis; review data for clusters/majors; out- of-field certificates; unfilled teacher vacancies; state ranking of teacher salaries. Trend data for scores; annual change in student scores; student grades (ACT,SAT) Voter participation; crime rate; civic involvement; curriculum coursework; trade deficit. Teach check list; OEPA; principal's evaluation and review.
Table 8: Voter participation; analysis of student performance on standardized tests; participation in service learning; student government/student activities. Newspaper sales increase, library usages, student performance on literacy assessment. Attendance rates, dropout rates, reduced numbers of unemployed individuals, increased numbers of people employed in meaningful jobs. Reduced disciplinary actions for student offenses that show a lack of understanding of diversity. Performance on President's Council on Physical Fitness, reduced youth risk behavior statistics.
Table 9: TIMSS; NAEP; SAT 9; post education business profiles. Longitudinal studies; teacher-made tests, graduation surveys; dropout rates; discipline rates; gauge student participation in arts; community participation, number of volunteers. Student surveys; drug surveys; college rate; unemployment rate. ACT; aptitude tests; armed services vocational aptitude survey.
Table 10: Teach students basic skills of language arts and math; develop an appreciation of the fine arts and history. Use multiple levels of student assessment that respect individual differences in mastering language arts at ALL grade levels. Utilize student report cards as an assessment measure. Use parent satisfaction survey results to guide instruction. Offer fine arts curriculum within the school and through extended extracurricular opportunities and provide alternative curriculum offerings. Provide resources of time, staffing, and materials for ALL students in ALL schools not just Title I schools.
Table 11: Percentage of students who graduate from high school enrolled in college jobs or postsecondary training. Employer surveys. Incarceration rates. Percentage of student involvement measure by extra and cocurricular activities. Teacher made tests as well as appropriate use of standardized norm reference test data to measure all children achievement every year at the expected growth level.
Table 12: Data collection methods: decrease in truancy, dropouts, standardized testing, teacher observation/progress participation in extra curricular activities observing how students participate and national international comparison of similar. Student data health measurements participation in wellness program, survey parents, students other human resources and hence of parent involvement. Post-secondary measures of number of students attending college and their progress.
Table 13: Non-competitive testing with a variety of assessment techniques. Determine/measure: numbers of students leaving the state; dropout rates; college-going rates; unemployment rates. Examine course offerings to determine if a broad curriculum os offered to meet the needs of whole child.
Table 14: Postsecondary successes; graduation rates; longitudinal studies of student success rate as determined by levels of education attained, employment data, special awards or recognition, student surveys, parent input and satisfaction, achievement test scores. Parent surveys, interviews, completion of college, tech schools, GEDs, unemployment rate. Number of registered voters, attendance at community forums, involvement in public life.
Table 15: Number of graduates. Survey graduates immediately, 5 yr. Followup e.g., library use, purchase of books, attendance at art/cultural events and activities. College going rates. Portfolios/resumes. Survey tracking of students. Feedback from employers. Standardized tests. Authentic assessment. Portfolios. Decline in discipline problems. Observable results in the community. Involvement of citizens in community affairs/services. Portfolios. Work samples. Survey of employers.
Table 16: Reading: standardized tests, teacher observation, criterion reference, portfolios, teacher mach tests, cross curricular usage. Measure self motivation, book usage, ebs., program, net, diagnostic testing, improvement in basic skill scores, test frequently, and project activity.
Table 17: Measures of effectiveness may be placed in three categories: Assessment which includes statewide assessment, portfolios, performance assessment, project based application, and traditional classroom testing. Surveys which include parent surveys, and school climate surveys. Follow up studies which include student follow up studies, community health assessments, and participation assessment that shows how education has affected society, ie., voting, parent involvement, job performance, and community involvement.
Table 18: Provide well rounded education through basic skills/life skills. Teacher made tests. Portfolios. Standardized testing. Criterion referenced testing. Observations. Measure employment success of graduate. Teacher observations. Utilize computer technology with simulations of real life problems. Work based experiences. Cooperative group learning. Preserve democracy. % of students voting. Submission of letters to congressman. Mock elections. Letters to editors. Patriotism in school. Conflict resolution. Incidences of school violence, home violence, and violence as measured by crime rate. In school suspensions/expulsion rates and discipline referrals. Teacher observations. Career Paths. Post graduate surveys/employment. Graduate rates/dropout rates. % of higher ed. education an d graduate rate. Career fair attendance interests.
Table 19: Parent satisfaction surveys. Employer satisfaction surveys. Low dropout rates. Post graduate surveys. Through a norm ref. Standard test.
Table 20: Performance based tests such as the state writing test and "real world" tests. Interviews with businesses. Student opinion surveys. Post graduate surveys/student participation in school activities. Failure rates.
Question #3: What changes need to be made to achieve these purposes?
Table 1: Better communication that will lead to increasing potential involvement, and to increase communication of standards to business such as certificate of proficiency. Set standards and stick to them. Systemic changes by doling away with grades and looking more at quality of student work set standards of quality and not accept less. Build time into school calendar for continuing and follow up staff development. Attract quality teachers by increasing entry level pay and continue to provide pay increases throughout work career levels of pay such as masters in teachers. Also pay for National Teacher Certification. Increase use of technology and offer more challenging technology curriculum.
Table 2: Teacher etiquette good manners, teach competencies so that self esteem is realized focus on 3 R's employ retain, maintain quality educators lower teacher ratio, emphasize reading, increase parent involvement and support, communicate increase value of education count all students in testing reinstate ability grouping, do away with school to work.
Table 3: Student teacher ratio. Legislature to support summer school. Legislative changes not penalize counties for identifying to many special ed. students. Limit class size 29 1st grade or teacher aide. Technical support and change state funding formula. Respect for authority. Discipline and Character education. Input from bus/industry colleges. Continue group interaction in classroom.
Table 4: Restructure school aid formula at least one nurse and one counselor at each school paid outside of formula.. Take non instructional personnel out of professional step of formula, and increase to allow for more personnel. Increase length of teachers paid contract for professional development and protect numbers of instructional days. No unfunded mandates. Give more local control to schools especially in curriculum. Increase flexibility for starting and ending data of school at the county level. Recorder Lake Woebegone Syndrome.
Table 5: Hire competent high tech staff. Continually revised process for preservice teacher education. K-4 exclusive attention to basic skills. Take the courts and excess paperwork out of education. Lower the pupil teacher ratio at the elementary level. Equitable funding with local control. Remove this time constraints on a high school diploma. Accountability to all levels.
Table 6: Teach students about resources involve community leaders, create fund real life problem solving situations, fund your delegate, get your major, train highly tech. Model appropriate model. Return joy to learning. No more solving ranking national students. Revamp school and formula. Require these courses to all/career and citizenship.
Table 7: Fully implement Jobs Through Education Act; revise formula to allow more educators. Increase salaries for education personnel; scholarship program for prospective teachers; revise educator preparation programs; economic and professional incentives for educators to further their education; lengthen employment term; workplace experience for teachers. Authentic assessment; consider re-adjustment of school term; rich and rigorous statewide curriculum. Citizen education curriculum; required civics/economics class at 12th grade. Different, better and more effective training.
Table 8: Resource allocations; professional development aligned with student achievement; let the teachers teach; teachers need to be full-time employees; calendar changes; recruit, retain and develop educators who are role models.
Table 9: Remove constraints of the school calendar to allow more CE days; upgrade facilities for technology; provide training, funding, and staff for technology; remove constraints of the current funding formula; focus staff development toward technology use in subject area. Remove obsolete educational facilities and add air conditioning and upgrade technology. Provide adequate facilities for fine arts and physical activity. Provide safe school buildings; more evaluations of educational programs to find out what works; use professional evaluators. Lower pupil/teacher ratio at all levels. Increase state funding formula and exclude professional service staff from state funding formula from teachers.
Table 10: Method of funding school facilities and services to equalize opportunities for ALL students. Elementary student transportation bus time no more than 30 minutes one way. Change "one size fits all" graduation requirements and add required survival and parenting skills. More local control of schools. Change delivery of reading content more phonics.
Table 11: Stop forced consolidation; shorten bus rides; maintain smaller classes; preserved community cultures; provide equitable SBA funding. Use research and test data to make instructional decisions, assess to identify...evaluate to judge. Eliminate time allocations and teach only basic skills using multi-modalities particularly in grades 1 and 2. Change community attitudes by encouraging more community/school involvement. County and state must model priorities for schools and provide help.
Table 12: Collaboration of all educational agencies in legislative funding issues to ensure that the needs of students are appropriately addressed. School-nurse ratio up to national standards of 1-750 students. Local control, less federal. Assess and reward effective teachers, competitive pay. Review preservice programs to align with reality of teaching in schools.
Table 13: Require every legislator to teach kindergarten for one week. Equitable distribution of resources to meet the needs of all students especially students in need of extra help. Eliminate standardized testing in kindergarten and first grade; smaller class size; increase state funding formula. Offer competitive salaries to keep well qualified teachers and administrators in WV. Strengthen attendance laws and parent accountability. Provide qualified instructional aides in 1st and 2nd grade as well as kindergarten.
Table 14: Education $ should be spent on education and not social services. Reduce emphasis on SAT 9 to give teachers more time to teach. Encourage parental involvement in school classroom activities at all grade levels. More financial support and better understanding by government. Less legislative control in our educational system. Development of values curriculum at higher grades. Development of self esteem. Increase student accountability. More flexibility in course offerings. More speakers from local/state governments and presentations required government course for seniors.
Table 15: Need for curriculum to be more relevant; increase cross-curriculum learning; smaller class sizes; need more teachers; eliminate regulations that impede achievement of goals. Provide technology training for all educators; increase teaching, cross curriculum, multiculture. Teachers need to model and demonstrate; use research; teacher training should be applicable; increase support of arts throughout curriculum. Resources, programs should be more equitable. Need more counselors.
Table 16: Lower student teacher ratio particularly K-3. Stronger vocational training. Improve teacher preparation. Eliminate teaching to the test use more for student analysis less for school rating.
Table 17: To provide for funding for qualified teachers in all subject areas and for support professionals, provide excellent facilities, provide more flexibility for local control. To improve teacher education programs. Balance economy with quality. To provide additional teachers for arts and communication.
Table 18: The quality of public education depends on recruiting and retaining highly trained, capable teachers to the profession in general and to WV in particular. WV is expected to drop 40th this year in teacher salaries behind every surrounding state and well behind other professionals. The benefit package particularly health insurance exacerbates the problem. WV must commit sufficient funds which we once enjoyed and to provide a benefit package comparable to contiguous states. Change the school aid funding formula. Public education and higher education need to communicate to establish a coordinated curriculum which adequately prepares students for living and working in a dynamically changing economy in a worldwide marketplace. Schools need to keep and strengthen LSIC's and Business Partners.
Table 19: Funding which will help meet the individuals needs of students. County control of funds.
Table 20: New state graduation requirements with a strong emphasis on technology students teacher ratio improvement. More hands on experiences for students, including more technology classes. Schools becoming center of community, sports, adult ed., year round schools, etc., schools open longer to meet needs of changing America. All schools up to standards.