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West Virginia Board Repeals Common Core

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano with Pre-K students in Kanawha County.

The West Virginia Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to repeal the state’s Common Core-based education standards for English and math and replace them with a newly developed set called the West Virginia College and Career Ready Standards.

The new standards are the result of a months-long review process headed by West Virginia’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano called the Academic Spotlight.

After the review, which included multiple meetings across the state that allowed parents and teachers to ask questions and make comments about the Common Core-based Next Generation Content Standards, the West Virginia Department of Education worked with education experts at West Virginia University as well as West Virginia teachers, principals and superintendents to write the new standards.

The College and Career Ready Standards were on public comment for 30 days and with a total 87 combined comments on both the English Language Arts and math standards, few changes were made before the board gave its approval Thursday.

“This went through a very, very intense vetting period, it was open to the public to make comments and we’re very confident in the fact that we have a very good set of standards to move forward with,” Board President Mike Green said after the vote.

The Next Generation Content Standards came under fire during the 2015 Legislative Session as members of both chambers debated a bill to repeal them.

In the end, the bill failed and Martirano moved forward with his own plan of replacement, but lawmakers are still discussing offering changes to the new standards.  Martirano said Thursday he only hopes those suggestions will come quickly.

“This process has been going on for close to a year, please provide me with some specific feedback,” Martirano said.

“If there are still changes to come, please bring those forward soon so that I can review those and see what adjustments need to occur because I don’t want to interrupt the educational process with some draconian change that has been thrust upon us from another body.”

Martirano added he is open to any suggestion lawmakers may have to strengthen the new standards.

The West Virginia College and Career Ready Standards take effect July 1, 2016.

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.

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