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West Virginia Seeking Input on Its Learning Standards

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April 10, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) is directing West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano and the West Virginia Department of Education to begin a public review of the state's K-12 academic standards in English language arts and math. The West Virginia Next Generation Standards define what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level.

"As a board of education, we want to be proactive in setting the educational path for our 280 thousand students," said Gayle Manchin, president of the WVBE. "We all agree that West Virginia must have high standards if our students are to graduate college and career ready. The review is about making sure we have the best possible standards as we close the West Virginia achievement gap and continue to focus on all students achieving. Most importantly, the review will include input from educators from both K-12 and higher education and citizens from across the state ensuring that our West Virginia standards are written and developed by West Virginians and are validated as college and career ready."

The West Virginia Next Generation Standards are in their first year of full implementation. The standards have been introduced at different grade levels over the past four years. With the discussion about the Common Core in West Virginia and across the country, the WVBE believes this is the right time to take a fresh look at the standards. Superintendent Martirano expects to accomplish this in two phases.

The first phase will include the launch of a website which will be available to every West Virginian. Individuals will be able to go online, review each current state standard and comment on what they like, don't like, or would suggest should be changed about a particular standard. An independent third party will collect and sort the data and then turn that information over to be reviewed and analyzed by professional West Virginia educators.

Phase two will involve West Virginia educators, Higher Education and others coming together to analyze the information obtained during phase one. At the conclusion of phase two a recommendation is expected to be made to the WVBE regarding the standards.

"I believe that the West Virginia Next Generation Standards are the right set of standards for our students, but we also acknowledge that all standards have room for improvement as we make certain that all of our young people are prepared for college and careers," said Superintendent Martirano. "I look forward to hearing from our citizens, stakeholders, parents and educators about their specific ideas for improvement."

For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at 304-807-6988 or 304-558-2699.

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