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State education board ties county board member performance to student accountability

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education has adopted changes to the standards for school board members, shifting more focus to student accountability.

The board last week approved new standards tied to two other policies on flexibility and accountability; Policy 2510 would give local schools more control over schedules and the credits needed to graduate, while Policy 2322 would establish goals focused on student outcomes.

The comment period on Policies 2510 and 2322 continues until Jan. 24.

The standards for board members had not been revised in 2012. Howard O’Cull, the executive director of the West Virginia School Board Association, said he reviewed the policies over the summer with members of the association’s School Board Member Training Standards Review Committee

“The most important and common change here is the idea — which has really been promoted by the state board in particular and the Legislature and the association over the last several years — the idea of accountability for student achievement and the role of county boards as locally elected officials play in that process,” he said. “We built everything more or less around that.”

O’Cull said the new standards are tied to Policies 2510 and 2322 to be a “tandem way for county boards to become involved in promoting student achievement in the decisions they make.”

Board members are required to have seven hours of training annually, and they can take part in five kinds of training sessions: statewide, regional, local, national and technology-based training. O’Cull noted technology-based training is evolving.

“The idea here is that county board members could receive a certain amount of training from a means of technology,” he said.

The training platform could use videotapes or online quizzes. O’Cull said the state would move into the area in increments, adding the goal is to allow teachers to take part in multiple various types of trainings simultaneously.

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