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Education Test

Common Core, School Calendar Bills Vetoed

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed two education bills, one that would have repealed Common Core aligned standardized test in the state and a second that would have allowed county boards to schedule fewer then 180 days in their school calendars.

House Bill 4014 started as a repeal of the state's Common Core-based education standards, but the state Board of Education approved their repeal in December, replacing them with the West Virginia College and Career Ready Standards.

As it moved through the legislative process, the bill became a repeal of any standardized tests aligned with Common Core. The bill also created a review panel that includes higher education professors or deans to suggestion changes to the current standards to the state board.

In his veto message, Tomblin said requiring the board stop using its current summative assessment in such a short timeframe “discounts the time and consideration” needed to find a replacement. He says it could also disrupt the ongoing implementation of the state’s A through F grading scale for schools.

Tomblin says that revisions to assessments and standards may be warranted in the future, but the state should ensure the stability of its school system by giving the current changes and means of measurement more time to take hold.

The governor also vetoed a bill that would have removed the requirement that county Boards of Education provide 180 separate days of learning and also limited the school operating dates to between August 10 and June 10.

In his veto message, Tomblin said 180 separate days of learning ensures students will be ready for college or a career after high school and school systems should be prepared to properly deal with weather or other emergencies by building flexibility into their calendars.

Tomblin said limiting school systems to operation between August 10 and June 10 also would have reversed legislation he approved in 2013, which gave counties more control over their calendars.

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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