WEST virginia Legislature
2020 regular session
Senate Bill 726
By Senators Cline, Boley, Blair, Mann, Maroney, Maynard, Roberts, Rucker, Smith, Sypolt, and Takubo
[Introduced February 7,
to the Committee on Education]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-5G-1 and §18-5G-2, all relating to enacting the Commitment to Eliminating Common Core, Ensuring High-Quality Academic Standards, and Raising the Bar for Civic Literacy Act; setting forth the functions, mission, and goals of West Virginia’s k-12 education system; providing findings; and requiring the State Board of Education to comprehensively review West Virginia’s k-12 academic standards and provide recommended revisions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
(a) West Virginia’s K-12 education system shall be a decentralized system without excess layers of bureaucracy. West Virginia’s K-12 education system shall maintain a systemwide technology plan based on a common set of data definitions.
(b) Public education is a cooperative function of the state and local educational authorities. The state retains responsibility for establishing a system of public education through laws, standards, and rules to assure efficient operation of a K-12 system of public education and adequate educational opportunities for all individuals. Local educational authorities have a duty to fully and faithfully comply with state laws, standards, and rules and to efficiently use the resources available to them to assist the state in allowing adequate educational opportunities.
(c) The mission of West Virginia’s K-12 education system is to allow its students to increase their proficiency by allowing them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through rigorous and relevant learning opportunities.
(d) The priorities of West Virginia’s K-12 education system include:
(1) Learning and completion at all levels, including increased high school graduation rate and readiness for postsecondary education without remediation.
(2) All students demonstrate increased learning and completion at all levels, graduate from high school, and are prepared to enter postsecondary education without remediation.
(3) Students demonstrate that they meet the expected academic standards consistently at all levels of their education.
(4) Students are prepared to become civically engaged and knowledgeable adults who make positive contributions to their communities.
(5) Academic standards for every level of the K-12 education system are aligned, and education financial resources are aligned with student performance expectations at each level of the K-12 education system.
(6) The quality of educational leadership at all levels of K-12 education is improved.
(7) Workforce education is appropriately aligned with the skills required by the new global economy.
(8) Parents, students, families, educational institutions, and communities are collaborative partners in education, and each plays an important role in the success of individual students. Therefore, the State of West Virginia cannot be the guarantor of each individual student’s success. The goals of West Virginia’s K-12 education system are not guaranteeing that each individual student will succeed or that each individual school will perform at the level indicated in the goals.
(9) It is essential that West Virginia’s K-12 education system better prepare all students at every level for the transition from school to postsecondary education or work by providing information regarding:
(A) Career opportunities, educational requirements associated with each career, educational institutions that prepare students to enter each career, and student financial aid available to pursue postsecondary instruction required to enter each career.
(B) How to make informed decisions about the program of study that best addresses the students’ interests and abilities while preparing them to enter postsecondary education or the workforce.
(C) Recommended coursework and programs that prepare students for success in their areas of interest and ability.
§18-5G-2. Findings; legislative directive.
(a) Findings. -- (1) It is in the best interest of all West Virginians to give our children a world-class education that fully prepares them for college and/or a career in the 21st century.
(2) Ensuring that West Virginia’s kindergarten through grade 12 academic standards are the best in the nation will require a thorough review, elimination of Common Core standards, and revision of standards.
(3) High quality academic standards are the foundation of a high-quality system to which assessments and instructional materials must be aligned.
(4) West Virginia’s education system should ensure that students are as prepared to become civically engaged and knowledgeable adults who make positive contributions to their communities.
(5) Core reading and intervention materials must be scientifically researched and evidence-based and incorporate explicit, systematic, and sequential approaches to teaching, vocabulary, fluency and text comprehension.
(b) Legislative directive. -- By January 1, 2021, the State Board of Education shall comprehensively review West Virginia’s kindergarten through grade 12 academic standards and provide recommended revisions. The recommendations shall:
(1) Articulate how West Virginia will eliminate Common Core Standards and ensure we return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic;
(2) Provide a roadmap to make West Virginia’s standards number one in the nation;
(3) Public schools should be able to provide a variety of instructional delivery models;
(4) Reflect the board’s consultation with relevant stakeholders to include parents and teachers;
(5) Deem how to increase the quality of instructional curriculum;
(6) Suggest innovative ways to streamline learning;
(7) Identify opportunities to equip high school students with sufficient knowledge of America’s civics, particularly the principles reflected in the United States Constitution, so as to be capable of discharging the responsibilities associated with American citizenship; and
(8) Outline a pathway for West Virginia to be the most literate state in the nation.
(c) As part of its review the State Board of Education may review what the other states are doing to accomplish the goals set forth in this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to enact The Commitment to Eliminating Common Core, Ensuring High-Quality Academic Standards and Raising the Bar for Civic Literacy Act. The bill sets forth the functions, mission, and goals of West Virginia’s K-12 education system. The bill makes legislative findings. The bill requires the State Board of Education to comprehensively review West Virginia’s kindergarten through grade 12 academic standards and provide recommended revisions.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.