Education Task Force Makes Recommendations to Improve Schools

September 18, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Teachers want more of a say in what goes on in their schools, and could soon have access to data that can help them improve student achievement, according to a final report presented recently to the West Virginia Board of Education.
The report, the last in a series, was the result of efforts by West Virginia’s Vision for Improving Teaching and Learning (WV VITAL) committee. The state board created the committee in 2007 to support effective leadership, encourage teacher retention and promote student learning in the 21st century. Stakeholders, including the state board of education, teacher unions and others, are working on the project with the New Teacher Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
In a follow-up to an online survey of teachers and principals last year, the WV VITAL committee recommended that password-protected reports created by the New Teacher Center be made available to all educators on Recommendations included removing the password feature and providing data use suggestions and guidelines. The committee also wants to conduct another survey of counties and schools to see how they have used the data in their strategic planning. 
“We are fortunate to have gained the perspective of educators and others who know first-hand what issues we have in our schools,” said state Board of Education member Lowell Johnson, who is heading up the project. “This data will prove to be invaluable as we move forward with Global21, our plan to incorporate 21st century performance skills into the classroom.”
Other recommendations include a review of the statewide technology plan and revisions of the teacher mentoring program. The group also wants to look at state board policies, procedures and state code to determine how they support or hinder collaboration.
WV VITAL stakeholders include the 21st Century Jobs Council; West Virginia-American Federation of Teachers; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston schools; Edvantia; Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts; Regional Education Service Agencies; West Virginia Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals; West Virginia Association of School Administrators; West Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals; West Virginia Board of Education; West Virginia Department of Education; West Virginia Education Association; West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities; West Virginia Professional Educators; and West Virginia School Boards Association.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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