The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 16, 2013

Phares: Marion County schools seeing results

State superintendent of schools says local WESTEST2 scores among best in state

FAIRMONT — James Phares, West Virginia’s state superintendent of schools and former Marion County superintendent, said he is proud to have worked in the county, where the schools get results and nurture the students.

Phares was a guest during Monday night’s Marion County Board of Education meeting held at Fairmont Senior High School, which recently completed its extensive rehabilitation project. He said he was very pleased to see this dream to renovate the school become a reality because of the local leadership involved.

He told the audience at the meeting that compared to the state average, students in Marion County are embracing Advanced Placement courses more. And although four Marion County schools didn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act, the county’s WESTEST2 scores were among the best in the state in 2011 and 2012. Marion County is also known for its sports achievements.

Phares expressed his appreciation for everyone who has supported him in his role as state superintendent, which he moved into Jan. 2 of this year.

He spoke about Senate Bill 359, the public education reform legislation that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law April 10.

Phares explained that this legislation provides county boards of education with more flexibility in developing their school calendars. There are no requirements in the bill for counties to move to year-round school, but students must get 180 days of instruction. He said the Marion County Board of Education understands how having 180 days of instruction positively impacts the school system.


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