(02/10/2012)
By Dianne Weaver

An audit about school performance at Calhoun Middle-High School has yet to be made public.

Following Calhoun Middle-High School being at the bottom in outcomes in the state's 55 counties, a WV Education Performance Audit (OEPA) team came to the school in October and did an audit.

There are concerns about the Calhoun school system being taken over by the state, in view that better performing systems have been taken over.

The Calhoun Board of Education called a special meeting on January 18 to review what was listed as "Initial Education Performance Audit Report," the only item on the agenda.

The minutes said the local board went into an Executive Session behind closed doors to review the audit, but Superintendent Roger Propst says the closed session was for a personnel matter, a mistake in preparing the minutes.

Reviewing an audit does not meet the criteria for an Executive Session under the Open Meetings Act.

Propst says the minutes would be corrected, and they now have been.

The minutes now read, "Mrs. Dale moved and Mrs. Starcher seconded to enter into executive session at 6:02 p.m. to discuss a personnel issue related to the OEPA Initial Education Performance Audit Report."

Propst said the special board meeting was a "work session" for board members to be involved in the corrective action plans necessary for the report.

Donna Davis, Deputy Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA), told the Hur Herald in January the report would be presented to the State Board of Education during the first week in February.

Davis explained the OEPA report regarding Calhoun County is still being revised.

Now, Davis says the report has been rescheduled to be submitted to the West Virginia Board of Education at a March 14 meeting.

"At the time the State Board receives the report, it will become public information," Davis said.

"Even then, the report will not become official until it is approved by the WVBE," said Heather L. Deskins, General Counsel of the Office of Legal Services with the WV Department of Education.

Davis said the purpose of sharing the report with the county board of education members and the county superintendent is to allow the board members and the superintendent to provide feedback on portions of the report that they believe to be erroneous.

If all this seems to be a little complicated, well, it is.

A recent state audit of the WV Department of Education, said it was likely the most over-regulated school system in the USA, requiring the hiring of a large number of bureaucrats to maintain the regulations, and critical of the low-performing system.

So far, there has been little movement in the WV legislature to make changes to the state system.

ED-WATCH: STATE EDUCATION IN PITS - Local School Boards Hamstrung To Make Change

STATE LIST SAYS CALHOUN SCHOOL 'WORST' PERFORMING OF WEST VIRGINIA'S 55 COUNTIES

WV STILL SHORT ON EVALUATING TEACHERS - Weak System Linking Student Performance-Teacher Effectiveness

CALHOUN BOARD MEETINGS SCHEDULED

_- February 13, 2012, Regular Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Calhoun Board of Education

- February 23, 2012, Special LSIC Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Arnoldsburg Elementary

- March 12, 2012, Regular Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Calhoun Board of Education

- March 22, 2012, Special LSIC Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Calhoun Middle/High School


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