State Board Of Education Developing Guidance for Intervention Counties
A detailed roadmap of how intervention counties can move toward progress was presented Thursday to the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) during its monthly board meeting.
“Up until now, we have provided oral guidance to counties about the next steps and expectations related to an intervention,” said West Virginia Deputy Superintendent of Schools Chuck Heinlein.
“The Process and Guidelines for Superintendents and Local Boards Under Intervention Status document is a comprehensive, step-by-step explanation of what will happen under intervention, expectations and responsibilities. Our goal is for this document to strengthen communication among the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA), the West Virginia School Boards Association (WVSBA), the West Virginia Department of Education and the intervention counties so that students are provided the education they deserve.”
The WVBE places a county under intervention only after an audit has been conducted by the OEPA.
Deficiencies in areas such as finance, facilities, student achievement, personnel and board relations lead to intervention.
Non-approval status and a declared state of emergency have been used 10 times since 1988 by the WVBE.
Currently, six West Virginia county school systems are under full state control. Those counties include Mingo, McDowell, Preston, Grant, Fayette and Gilmer.
Lincoln County just earned full approval status from the OEPA but must pass one more audit before full local control can be regained.
The document presented to the WVBE includes topics such as standards used by the OEPA to determine accreditation status; requirements and recommendations for intervention county superintendent; recommendations for the county board of education; and the process for regaining local control.
“On behalf of the West Virginia School Board Association, we commend the WVDE and state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple for providing what will become the road map for intervention counties,” said Howard O’Cull, executive director of the WVSBA.
“The document outlines roles, duties, and responsibilities for county boards under intervention and also includes explicit timelines, ways technical support will be provided and measures for progress.”
The current document is in draft form and will be altered based on suggestions provided by board members.
This development proves that involved citizens can make a difference in how government operates. Under the leadership of Dr. W. K. Simmons, the Gilmer Schools Coalition submitted an exit plan and it is obvious that the initiative impacted Charleston’s thinking. After ten years of milling around by Dr. Marple’s DOE, Gilmer County took center stage to contribute significantly to adoption of an exit plan for restoring school systems to local control in all the State’s takeover counties. This victory of the people is about transparency and accountability, necessary elements of good government at all levels. Thank you Dr. Simmons and all the Coalition’s members who contributed ideas for the County’s exit plan. All this would not have been possible without involvement of the Gilmer Free Press, central WV’s beacon for getting truth to the people.
Comment by Rod Welch on 07.13.2012
May 14, 1982, Judge Recht’s opinion concluded that the state funding system caused unequal education opportunities from county to county. The case revolved around the issue that children attending schools in property-poor counties were not receiving educational opportunities equal to students in richer counties. They still aren’t and Gilmer County is yet another prime example of failure to enforce this mandate in a competent manner. Suddenly, in an election year, they “work on an exit plan”. Informed Gilmer Countians know when that originated. Gayle Manchin says they must now work with the “citizens and boards”. No kidding? Taking school dollars and relocating children with no thought for their emotional health does not enrich Gilmer County.
This state’s survival as a force to be reckoned with in today’s competitive world depends upon the education of its youth. How did the WV State Department of Education decide that our teacher shortage should continue to be filled by unqualified substitutes and the granting of waivers? How is that consistent with the “high quality statewide education system” contemplated by the Recht decision? The SBA was created in 1988 to spend hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars intended as a brick and mortar band aide while the quality of education provided to the children ranks 48th in the nation and little if anything is done to attract and retain qualified teachers. Student needs are not met while a bloated, politically motivated bureaucracy thrives.
Comment by More Must Be Done on 07.13.2012
It would be nice if the draft version of this document could be obtained and posted for all to read.
Comment by No Name Please on 07.13.2012
Don’t be too quick to celebrate Rod. I suspect Jorea will leave just enough ambiguity and vagueness in the rules to keep her political sword in her arsenal.
Comment by Burnt Weiney on 07.13.2012
If you really want a laugh, check out Gayle Manchin’s comments in the July 13 issue of The Charleston Gazette on this topic….biggest bunch of crock I ever read!
Comment by anonymous on 07.14.2012
Administering large state programs with “oral guidance” would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. All that means is they wanted people to do what they were told. There would be no accountability in case of a wrong decision and no proof of who made the right decisions beyond what was made public. Sounds a lot like local government, do you think there’s a connection here?
Comment by What a Way to Run a Railroad on 07.14.2012
It isn’t over till its over BW. If the State begins to submit exit plans that would be a major improvement with how business is done. If the normal procedure is followed, the State will invite citizens to comment on a draft exit plan approach before the document is finalized. If citizens take time to comment,and they get the top politicians involved, there is a good chance of a good exit plan being required for all takeover counties. If we get an exit plan here we still need a comprehensive study done to have options for what we can do overall to have the best school system in WV. The simplistic “let’s build schools approach” won’t cut it. The facts are there to prove that with all the millions being spent in WV on new school buildings that philosophy has failed to get us out of 48th place for the quality of K-12 education. Norma Hurley and Dendra Miller will surely get us a copy of the State’s draft exit plan approach for local review. Norma has done an excellent job as the Coalition’s facilitator and many thanks go out to her. Dendra has done excellent work too with her informative articles in the Democrat. All of us are in this struggle together and if we stick together good things will happen because of the proven strength of people power.
Comment by Rod Jones on 07.14.2012
Several great points to be gleaned from this effort by Mr Heinline and the State Board of Education.
1) That the Gilmer School Coalition is correct and “on the money” to what has, is lacking at State levels.
2) State Government bureaucracy does not have all the answers.
3) It exposes what has happened when the the “politics of personal gain” run amok, which is almost always the case.
4) This totally validates the numerous reports that have appeared with very negative results on the State educational system.
5) This does indicate some level of openness and willingness to work with our district. But totally after the fact.
Also several points have been likely overlooked.
1) Takeover of Gilmer County Schools with no interim for district self remedy. First time in State history. Clearly demonstrates the
power of political and personal financial agendas.
2) No repair process instituted for the total failure of current administration. As was outlined as problematic in the OPEA report.
This issue has actually been exacerbated by State taking over the school system.
3) Makes no hard and fast guidelines for a school takeover.
Everyone should read the OPEA report given on Gilmer County. You should also read a copy of the ‘very first’ report the State posted on
their website. That first report may be available from Mr Ramazon. It all makes it quite obvious that political factions moved this whole debacle to where it is now.
No mention of course, that this multi-county experiment takes two-thirds of the needed student population from the smallest state district, to be bussed
over into Lewis county, that will only provide one-third of the required students, for the new school. This is a great example of
backwards bureaucratic thinking. Creating more and longer bus rides for children.
When it is all said and done, maybe some people will start to recognize their wrongs and what has been allowed to go forward, simply because there
was NOT a well rounded, good cross section of community involvement.
A large, loud, long round of applause goes to the Gilmer School Coalition. Thank you Mr Simmons, Mr Armour, Norma Hurley, Mr Ramazon and all others
Comment by anonymous on 07.14.2012
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