Education

Nikki Tundel / Photo of Paul Dorr from APM Reports, a production of Minnesota Public Radio®. © 2018 Minnesota Public Radio®. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Paying taxes is one of those things we just can’t avoid… except for the local tax measures we get to vote on. One of the best examples is school spending. When local school officials ask for additional money for new academic programs or school buildings, taxpayers must approve it. There’s one man who has worked with citizen’s groups in dozens of places to fight against more money for public schools. He’s been successful in many places and his efforts highlight the Us & Them in all of these communities.

Dr. Stephanie Parker begins the class day at Huffman Academy Pre-K by having the students fill in a sentence about the day Dec. 15, 2018.
Julianna Hunter for 100 Days in Appalachia

Appalachia is, and has been for decades, lagging behind the rest of the nation in a number of health outcomes. The region struggles with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and much more.

But new research on the rate at which Appalachians are dying has health officials calling for more investments in not just health care but in education and economic development to reverse the trend.

A federal judge has fined U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for contempt of court for failing to stop collecting loans from former students of a now-defunct chain of for-profit colleges.

The court ruling orders the Education Department to pay a $100,000 fine. The judge said Devos had violated an order to stop collecting loans owed by students who had been defrauded by Corinthian Colleges.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Republican candidates in West Virginia’s 2020 congressional races appear to be significantly out-fundraising Democrats, according to third quarter campaign finance reports. Dave Mistich has more.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Dr. Steven Paine serves as West Virginia’s 31st state superintendent.

When asked what he’s most excited about in education spheres throughout the state, he says there are promising indications of improved student academic achievement, and he points to the state’s impressive graduation rates. He also highlights the career and technical education programs throughout the state. 

Education reporter Glynis Board spoke with Paine in depth about these and other issues. We hear some of that conversation.

West Virginia Department of Education

Steven Paine, Ed.D., currently serves as West Virginia’s state superintendent for the second time in his career. He was the 25th state superintendent of schools from 2005 – 2011 and took up the post again in March of 2017 to become the 31st superintendent. He’s now also considered the longest serving state superintendent of schools in the country.

He recently sat down with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to discuss the state of education in the Mountain State.

Flynn Larsen/Sesame Workshop/AP

Sesame Street has a history of tackling big issues.

Last week, they launched a new short film to help kids going through tough times when their parents are struggling with addiction.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

A large wooden sign that says “Yew Here” greets visitors as they drive into the Yew Mountain Center. Nestled in the woods of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, the property for years operated as a farm. A few years ago, a group of community members sought to repurpose the land to create a place for outdoor education. 

“It was really a neighborhood effort to turn this property into something that would preserve the land and also serve the community,” said Erica Marks, the center’s director.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we can learn a lot from the natural world -- things our ancestors knew that many of us have forgotten. A program in Pocahontas County wants to teach about those things -- and use nature as a classroom as well. Eric Douglas has the story.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Department of Education data says more than half of the state's teachers missed more than 10 days of school last year.

WSAZ-TV reports that 52.75 percent of teachers missed more than 10 days, according to research of data from the education department.

Scott McCloskey / The Intelligencer

A private, financially troubled West Virginia college has hired a new president.

Wheeling University said Monday that Ginny Favede will become its 13th president. She has served as chairwoman of the university's Board of Trustees since July.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, author Crystal Wilkinson is this year’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University.

Wilkinson grew up in Kentucky with her grandparents. Her work celebrates being black in Appalachia. Liz McCormick spoke to Wilkinson last week. Here’s an excerpt from the interview beginning with Wilkinson sharing one of her short stories from her book, "Blackberries, Blackberries".

Jesse Wright / WVPB

A group of fourth and fifth grade students at Morgantown Learning Academy — a private, non-profit elementary school located in Monongalia County — are sitting at two picnic benches surrounded by a forested canopy on a recent Thursday. This isn’t a special field trip. Every Thursday, students spend part of their classroom time outside with Mountain Stewardship & Outdoor Leadership, or Mountain SOL.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a growing body of research shows that learning outside boosts the mental, physical and social health of students. In Morgantown, one outdoor education program has embraced learning in nature and integrated it into the curriculum at a local elementary school. As part of our occasional series on outdoor education, Brittany Patterson visited Mountain SOL.

Schools Seek Ways To Help Children Exposed To Drugs In The Womb

Sep 23, 2019
White House

Students line up single file behind teachers at West Elementary in Athens, Ohio, for. the walk downhill from the brick building to board buses or meet up with the person taking them home.

Some talk about their day, others run off to the playground and some discuss the latest Pokémon movie. A chant for the yellow, electric mouse Pikachu breaks out.

It’s a scene familiar to Tom Gibbs, the superintendent of the Athens City School District, who’s making sure these and the nearly 3,000 other students he watches over make it home safely.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, not many high schools can say they operate an award-winning recycling program for their county. Much less do you hear this from smaller schools in rural counties.

But Wyoming East High School, a school of about 500 students in Wyoming County, has just that. As part of a new occasional series exploring outdoor learning, reporter Emily Allen spoke to the EPA-honored science teacher who helped make the effort possible.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Shepherd University’s campus library is home to the largest solar panel installation on a nonprofit in West Virginia. As Liz McCormick reports, the staff who pushed for the installation are hopeful the achievement will inspire more organizations and homeowners in the state to turn to solar power.

West Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia education officials say they've found a problem with the state's school system: many students aren't showing up to class.

courtesy Brandon Dennison

The founder of a West Virginia job-training organization called Coalfield Development has been awarded $250,000 from the Heinz Family Foundation. 


Brandon Dennison is being recognized for his work to help address generational poverty in central and southern West Virginia.

DAN SCHULTZ/ TRAVELING 219

The Tygart Valley Homestead Association in Randolph County is celebrating the opening of a new community center inside their historic school building that first opened in 1939. The school was originally part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Homestead projects.


Gee delivers his 2017 State of the University address.
West Virginia University

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are creating a nonprofit that will fight to steer cash from any national opioid settlement to hospitals, rather than to local and state governments already sparring for control of the dollars.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as kids begin to return to school this year, many adults are unpacking new education legislation state lawmakers passed a few months ago. Among many changes, new rules will make charter schools an option for the first time in the state’s history.

Emily Schultz is the director for state advocacy and policy with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Lawmakers consulted her as they shaped the education reform bill. But Schultz wasn’t happy with all the aspects of the bill. Glynis Board spoke with her about West Virginia’s new law.

Seeking Common Ground: Immigrants Find Footing in a Rural English Classroom

Aug 13, 2019
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

In Amy Fabbri’s English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class in Moorefield, every time a new student joins her morning or afternoon session, she gives them the honor of pining their name next to their home country on a large map of the globe. The map that hangs on her classroom wall has pins marking Haiti. Mexico. El Salvador. Ethiopia. Myanmar. Ninety percent or more of her students work for Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken processing plant located in the middle of the small West Virginia town. 

Adobe Stock

The city of Spencer is offering to forgive unpaid parking tickets in exchange for school supplies.

Spencer, located in Roane County, announced the deal Tuesday on Facebook, according to the Associated Press.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Organizations in West Virginia like the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley (CFOV) are working to address youth retention in West Virginia by exposing current college students to opportunities that exist in the region.

Vaping Ban Begins at West Virginia University

Aug 1, 2019
Courtesy of West VIrginia University

A ban on electronic cigarettes and vaping products has started at West Virginia University.

The WVU Board of Governors in February approved the ban that took effect Thursday, Aug. 1. The policy applies to WVU properties in Morgantown, Beckley and Keyser.

Zac Northup / Standwatch Academy

Earlier this year, eight girls from Lincoln County High School went on an adventure out West. The trip was made possible by a nonprofit called Standwatch Academy, a group that teaches rural high school kids about entrepreneurship. 

For many, summer is often associated with camp and quintessential camp activities like swimming, making s’mores and telling ghost stories.

Last week, a group of nine students in Pocahontas County took telling ghost stories a step further, by learning how to make short, animated films at Monster Movie Camp.


The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Legislature has passed three bills that would provide additional funding for education. The measures were outlined in a controversial education omnibus approved in June.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Emily Schultz is the director for state advocacy and policy with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Lawmakers consulted her as they shaped the education reform bill recently signed into law that allows for the establishment of charter schools in West Virginia for the first time in the state’s history. But Schultz wasn’t happy with all the aspects of the final bill. 

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