State Board

July 29, 2011 - Volume 31 Issue 20

State Board / State Department of Education News

The West Virginia Board of Education has elected Wade Linger as its president for 2011-2012. The board also elected Gayle Manchin from Kanawha County as vice president and Robert Dunlevy from Ohio County as secretary.

Linger, a high tech entrepreneur, was appointed to the West Virginia Board of Education in 2008 to a nine-year term. He is a native of Charleston and current Marion County resident. Trained as a computer programmer while serving in the U.S. Air Force, Linger has spent much of his professional career in the fields of technology and research. He is a community leader and volunteer. He served with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce and is a former Boy Scout leader. Linger also served on West Virginia University's College of Engineering Advisory Council. He received a bachelor of arts in business degree from St. Leo College in Florida in 1989.

Gayle Manchin was appointed to the state Board of Education in 2007 to serve a nine-year term ending 2015. She attended West Virginia University, where she attained her bachelor’s degree in language arts and education and a master’s in reading. She also holds a second master’s in educational technology leadership from Salem International University.

Robert Dunlevy was named to the West Virginia Board of Education in November 2005 for a term ending in 2014. A native of Ohio County, Dunlevy holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University. In addition to his state board duties, he also serves on the School Building Authority and the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission.


William White, a member of the West Virginia Board of Education, completed three days’ of intensive training to help new board members become highly effective state education policymakers. The training was provided by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) at no charge for up to two members per state.

White joined state board members from 20 states and territories in sessions that covered basic boardsmanship issues such as the responsibilities of boards and their members, the sequence of policy development, and using Robert’s Rules of Order, as well as more advanced subjects such as how to provide effective state leadership through board actions.

“State board members who are well-informed and empowered are critical to the successful development and application of education policy and standards at the state level,” NASBE Executive Director Brenda Welburn said. “We laud the efforts of these volunteer leaders, who give their time, energy, and expertise to their states, and we work to support them not only at the outset of their education policymaking careers, but throughout their service.”

State boards of education are the embodiment of the American tradition of citizen involvement and authority over public education. State boards are responsible for setting statewide educational standards, including high school graduation requirements, teacher professional qualifications, and establishing statewide testing programs.

For more information regarding NASBE, visitt


For the fifth time in five year, the West Virginia Department of Education has been recognized for its efforts to improve 21st century teaching and learning. West Virginia is a recipient of the 21st Century Practice of the Year Award for 2011, which commemorates the nation’s preeminent state-led 21st century skills initiatives.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) cited West Virginia for its Comprehensive Data Access through the Data Portal for 21st Century for Success (DP21) and the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS) on the Web (WOW). West Virginia was one of 10 states to be recognized recently for education modernization efforts.

“These initiatives provide excellent examples of the implementation of the P21 Framework across our leadership states," Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians and chairwoman of P21, said. “P21 is pleased to recognize and celebrate the states' commitment to 21st century teaching and learning for all students.”

West Virginia’s DP-21 is an interactive data portal that seeks to provide key educators access to data that are indicative of school success and improving student achievement in a single, user-friendly location. WVEIS, West Virginia’s 20-year-old administrative data system used by all county school systems and schools, created WVEIS on the Web as part of its ongoing conversion to a Web-based application. This set of tools has been enhanced to collect new data about students, provide linkages to statewide assessments, and provide access to these data not only to administrators but also to teachers. DP-21 and WOW are complimentary systems that together improve educator access to student data.

“Technology is the tool that our teachers are using to forever change the learning landscape and better serve our children in the 21st century,” West Virginia Supt. Jorea Marple said. “The changes we are making in West Virginia will help our students better comprehend, problem-solve and communicate solutions in real-world settings.”

West Virginia was the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. According to a state Department of Education press release, the organization has “emerged as the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. Since joining the partnership, West Virginia has worked to add rigor to its educational system and incorporate 21st century skills through ‘Global 21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.”

According to the Partner for 21st Century Skills website, member states include Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia -

The website lists these as member organizations –  Adobe Systems, Inc.; American Association of School Librarians; Apple; ASCD; Atomic Learning; Blackboard, Inc.; Cable in the Classroom; Cisco Systems; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Dell, Inc.; Education Networks of America; Educational Testing Service; EF Education; Ford Motor Company Fund; Gale Cengage Learning; Hewlett Packard; Intel Corporation; JA Worldwide®; KnowledgeWorks Foundation; K12; Learning Point Associates; LEGO Group; Lenovo; McGraw Hill; Measured Progress; Microsoft Corporation; National Education Association; Oracle Education Foundation; Pearson; PolyVision; Quarasan!; Scholastic Education; Sesame Workshop; Sun Microsystems; THINKronize; Verizon; and Wireless Generation. Refer to:


The two-week summer camp STARTALK Program ended July 22 with a closing ceremony to honor the graduation of about 80 Monongalia County elementary students who had been learning Chinese.

The West Virginia Department of Education partnered with Monongalia County Schools to offer the STARTALK Program held at Cheat Lake Elementary School in Morgantown. Students had to be entering grades one through five in the fall to participate.

The second annual STARTALK Program aimed to teach Chinese language and culture to elementary students through interactive videos paired with authentic, hands-on cultural experiences.

This year’s program theme, “A Green Earth + A Healthy Me = Harmony,” also stressed the importance of being a healthy and responsible global citizen.

“In order for our students to be successful in a globally competitive society upon graduation they must learn a second language and they must begin this journey earlier,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “The STARTALK Program does a great job of coinciding with the mission of the West Virginia Department of Education’s ‘Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.’ initiative to prepare all of our students to be college and career ready upon graduation.”

The STARTALK curriculum consists of samples from the much larger Language Leaper Program. The Language Leaper Program includes both Chinese and Japanese language units for kindergarten and first grade. Both onsite and media teachers are used.

Language Leaper was piloted this past year in seven schools across Cabell, Ohio, Monongalia, and Putnam counties and will expand this upcoming school year to include additional regional schools.

“I have enjoyed watching the students interact positively with the Chinese language,” Debbie Nicholson, coordinator for the Office of World Languages, said. “It is very rewarding to see students actively engaged in language learning. I hope the STARTALK Program will be just one step in beginning the lifelong process of learning a second language for these students.”

The inaugural year for the STARTALK Program hosted about 50 students from Monongalia County elementary schools at North Middle School in Morgantown.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


The West Virginia Board of Education at its July meeting placed several proposed policy updates on public comment for 30 days.

The board is seeking comment on changes to Policy 2340, West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress. The update incorporates recent revisions to Policy 2510, Assuring Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs. Those changes included changing chemistry from a graduation requirement to an elective science course. The update to 2340 addresses the students who are required to take the Grade 11 WESTEST2 Science Test.

Also on public comment are updates to Policy 3236, Education Innovation Zones. Revisions to this policy incorporate legislation passed earlier this year that addresses dropout prevention and credit recovery. The intent of the legislation is to add a separate category of innovation zones that allows schools to focus on dropout prevention.

The board also is considering changes to Policy 5100, Approval of Educational Personnel Preparation Programs, as well as updates to Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advance Salary Classifications.

These policy updates are being revised to reflect new Praxis test numbers and scores for the tests. Changes also include clarification of programmatic levels previously omitted and modification of the programmatic level for the preschool endorsement, among other changes.

Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposed changes and make suggestions. The policies can be viewed on the West Virginia Department of Education website at For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


The West Virginia Board of Education has revised state policy to strengthen English/language arts and math standards.

State policy 2520 defines what courses should contain for all programs of study. In May, the board put on public comment updates to Policy 2520.1, 21st Century Reading and English Language Arts Content Standards and Objectives, and Policy 2520.1A, Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for English Language Arts in West Virginia Schools.

Changes to Policy 2520.1 resulted in the removal of kindergarten standards and objectives. Policy 2520.1A revised English/language arts standards for all grade levels.

Updates to Policy 2520.2, 21st Century Mathematics Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, also resulted in the removal of the kindergarten standards and objectives. Policy 2520.2B updated math standards for all grade levels.

The Next Generation Standards are a more concise and focused version of West Virginia’s current Content Standards and Objectives. Teachers from across the state developed the new standards for math and English/language arts.

“The Next Generation Standards represent the next logical step in the progression of the statewide movement to 21st century learning,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “It is imperative that our schools move beyond test-prep instruction to fostering the leaders of tomorrow. The Next Generation Standards allow us to improve upon our already high standards and allow West Virginia to be a leader in setting the direction for our nation's future education reforms."



Open for Public Comment

Open for Public Comment

POLICY 2340 - West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress (PDF)
Until 4:00 PM August 15
Comment Online!

POLICY 3236 - Education Innovation Zones (PDF)
Until 4:00 PM August 15
Comment Online!

POLICY 5100 - Approval of Educational Personnel Preparation Programs (PDF)
Until 4:00 PM August 15
Comment Online!

POLICY 5202 - Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advanced Salary Classifications (PDF)
Until 4:00 PM August 15
Comment Online!

POLICY 2520.8 - Next Generation Driver Education Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools (PDF)
Pending Board Action