State Board of Education Faces New Standards Vote Thursday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State Board of Education will vote on the adoption of a new set of standards to replace Next Generation on Thursday.

The Next Generation standards, molded around Common Core, would be replaced by the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards for English and Math.

“I’ve made a recommendation to the State Board to repeal Common Core and adopt our standards now as the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said during an interview on the MetroNews-affiliated “The Mike Queen Show” on the AJR News Network.

Dr. Martirano said it is vitally important that the debate over the standards come to an end, but he has heard exactly what the public comments are saying about the Common Core-based Next Generation standards.

“My goal is to listen to the legislature, listen to our community members, our state citizens, and make these the very standards for our citizens that are West Virginia developed,” he said. “We move forward at that level. We need to move this dialogue forward. We have to resolve this.”

With hundreds of teacher vacancies throughout the state, Dr. Martirano said the Board of Education can no longer be quagmired by the debate over the Next Generation/Common Core standards.

“I have 600 vacancies in this state right now–bona fide teacher vacancies,” he said. “And if we’re concerned about achievement, we need to make certain that we have a quality teacher in front our children every day. And right now, I have 600 vacancies. That is impeding acadmic achievements.”

Dr. Martirano said regardless of what the standards are, there need to be standards defining what a student should know. And according to Dr. Martirano, that’s an important distinction.

“They build–it’s a learning progression–from grade level to grade level throughout that course,” he said. “And that’s what I’ve been talking about for the last 16 months when people don’t understand the distinction between standards–what they truly are and truly aren’t. They define what a child should know by the end of a course–by the end of a grade level–and they’re developmentally defined by research.”

The State Legislature wanted to repeal Common Core in the 2015 Legislative Session, but ultimately chose not to.

Senate President and gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole called Common Core a “non-starter” in August and predicted it would face repeal again in 2016.

Additionally, there has been criticism that the new standards aren’t that much different than Common Core.

West Virginia’s Next Generation standards have been implemented over the past four years.