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W.Va. Board of Education Supports Governorís Education Improvement Efforts

February 15, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday accepted the challenge set forth by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in his State of the State address to boldly transform the state’s education system and improve student achievement. 

 “The board acknowledges, supports and joins the governor in his priorities,” said Board President Wade Linger.  “The prosperity of our state and nation, not to mention individual citizens, depends on the successful education of our young people.”

 In a letter to the West Virginia Board of Education, the governor asked board members to lead the following areas of education reform:

o   Guide accreditation of teacher education programs and direct professional development to support reading on grade level by the end of third grade

o   Establish a Commission on Small School Systems to review the current governance structure of the 55 county boards of education

o   Aggressively pursue the use of RESAs to create efficiencies and to decentralize the delivery of professional development services

o   Pursue coordinating staff in cross-counseling efforts between public education and community colleges to ensure high school graduates are prepared for a career

o   Require every career center in West Virginia to adopt or develop at least one career pathway that meets Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) standards for Preparation for Tomorrow

o   Investigate Project 24 and advise the Governor’s Office on using technology to personalize and enhance the education of all students

“The Governor’s letter says to us that he wants to establish a new relationship,” said board member Lloyd Jackson. “It says he wants the board to be part of developing policy in a more cooperative way. This supports the momentum established by the board’s education audit response.”

The state Board of Education recently released “From Audit to Action: Students First” in response to the governor’s ’“Education Efficiency Audit of West Virginia’s Primary and Secondary Education System.” The board’s response is posted at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/audit-response.html. Overall, the board supports the majority of the audit's recommendations to improve educational quality and increase efficiency in West Virginia schools.

“We have responded to the governor and are prepared to act immediately with the adoption his education agenda,” Linger said.  “We will marshal all our resources to assist his efforts, including those of the Department of Education, the Regional Education Service Agencies and other agencies and institutions that come under our jurisdiction.  It is our goal to work with the governor and the Legislature to accomplish the tasks set before us.” 

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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