New West Virginia School Superintendent Dr. Jim Phares says he’s already heard a lot from interested parties during his first week on the job.
Phares told state lawmakers Tuesday at the state capitol many groups are interested in improving public education and he wants to serve as a filter for the best way of getting that done.
Superintendent Phares says a reoccurring theme during the past week has been an urging to enhance career and technical education in the state.
“They understand that it’s important for West Virginia jobs and they also understand if we are going to enhance CT education we have to make connection with the middle schools almost immediately,” Phares said.
Other themes of note from the superintendent during recent meetings with stakeholders include:
–moving professional development closer to the classroom
–having fewer “shalls and shall nots” coming from the state Dept. of Education; allowing counties to make broader decisions
–extended time for learning by granting the ability for a balanced calendar based on needs of geographic areas
–more actively involving state school board’s leadership within the elements of what happens at state Dept. of Educ.
“The one common word that we cling to is change,” Dr. Phares told lawmakers. “I think people are expecting it and if we don’t, I think that we’ve all failed.”
Phares is scheduled to be part of his first state Board of Education meeting Wednesday.