State Board Concludes Series of Eight Forums

October 27, 2000

The West Virginia Board of Education concluded its series of eight forums yesterday evening after a two-week tour of the state to get input on education.  

“We invited the public to participate in these forums aimed at strengthening the public schools of West Virginia,” said State Board Vice President Jim McKnight, who spearheaded the effort for the State Board. “These community-level discussions provided all stakeholders with the opportunity to have their voices heard on a very important topic -- the future direction of education in the Mountain State.”  

The Education Forums were held at a local school in each of the following communities: Elkins, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Huntington, Beckley and Charleston. More than 800 people attended statewide. Participants at the programs included educators, parents, students, community leaders, legislators and representatives from business and industry.  

“In the next few weeks, staff members from the West Virginia Department of Education will be compiling all of the comments received from the public to prepare a formal report to the West Virginia Board of Education,” said State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart. “This comprehensive document will be presented at the Board’s December 14 meeting in Charleston.”  

Comments from each of the forums are on the department’s website:  

“As we traveled across the state for these community-level programs, results were posted on our website within a few minutes after they were reported,” said McKnight.  

The forums focused on three questions pertaining to the purposes of public education, how results should be measured and which improvements need to be made.  

State Board members will consider all comments and suggestions as they work in the coming months and years to shape the future of education in West Virginia.  

“There is no better way to find out what parents, educators, students, community leaders, legislators and business leaders want in a public education system than to just ask them,” McKnight noted.

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