January 20, 2017 - Volume 37 Issue 1


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) voted to return local control to Fayette County Schools today during its January board meeting. Fayette County will regain control of all areas of the school system with the exception of facilities and finances related to facilities. The vote comes after seven years of state intervention.

Fayette County Schools will regain control on February 6, 2017 upon recommendation by Susan O'Brien, Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA). Action was taken following evaluation of Fayette County’s annual review. The WVBE unanimously voted to return local control with the provision that state-appointed superintendent, Terry George remain in place.

Since intervention in Fayette County Schools in February 2010, the WVBE and OEPA have worked directly with the schools to make improvements in areas including curriculum, policy, finance, facilities, personnel, transportation and the establishment and operation of a school calendar.

"It is with great pride that the West Virginia Board of Education returns control to Fayette County Schools," said Michael Green, WVBE president. “We feel confident in returning partial control back to the Fayette County Board of Education and know the future is bright for the students in Fayette County.”

In 2014, Fayette County Schools regained control of school policies. The WVBE also recently approved Fayette County School’s revised Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan (CEFP), which outlines a path forward for the county whose facilities have deteriorated for several years. The School Building Authority awarded funding to Fayette County Schools in December 2016 to complete construction of new buildings and consolidate existing buildings as outlined in the revised CEFP.

“It is an exciting day for the students and citizens in Fayette County,” George said. “We have made a tremendous amount of progress and I am pleased the State Board of Education has confidence in our Board to continue to make improvements and ensure the best education possible for our students.”

Following the WVBE’s vote to return control to Fayette County, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be executed between the county and the WVBE. OEPA will conduct another annual review in Fayette County during the 2017-18 school year, and further recommendations may be made.


The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) is considering a revision to its assessment policy, Policy 2340, that would replace the Smarter Balanced high school English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. The WVBE voted at its meeting today to place the proposed new policy on public comment for 30 days, which would require the administration of end-of-course (EOC) exams in selected core courses at the high school level.

EOC exams will be administered in ELA, mathematics and science, and will be developed uniquely for West Virginia with input from West Virginia teachers, administrators and other appropriate stakeholders.

“No one single assessment solution is without flaw and cannot meet the needs of all stakeholders equally and effectively,” said Michael Green, President of the WVBE. “It is important for us to be innovative to identify the best solutions for the students in West Virginia and consider input from our stakeholders.”

EOC exams are being considered as a means of adding value and increasing performance on the statewide assessments among high school students. Latest assessment data show students at the high school level did not spend the time necessary on the current Smarter Balanced assessments. The hope is that the EOC exams will increase accountability and engagement among students.

“End-of-course exams will add value and incite motivation among our high school students because they will be factored into students’ final grades in each respective course, and therefore tied to outcomes and benefits that are clear to students,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano. “Administering an assessment that is factored into students’ final grades will influence the effort index for all students, not just those who are college bound.”

The West Virginia EOC exams will be aligned to the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for corresponding courses and designed in such a manner as to assure that their implementation and administration will not disrupt West Virginia’s Statewide Accountability System. The exams will be fully implemented during the 2018-19 school year.

The WVBE also approved a motion that directs the West Virginia Department of Education to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) to seek the most appropriate summative assessment for ELA and mathematics in grades 3 through 8.

Members of the public may provide comment on Policy 2340 by visiting: http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/

Source: West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications and Partnerships.

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