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In reversal, WV school chief opens testing meetings

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a reversal, West Virginia’s state schools superintendent has publicly released the names of members of his new advisory commission on statewide standardized testing and the time and location of its next meeting.

“We appreciate the input we have received from the public and media concerning the desire for a public process and have reconsidered our decision to keep these meetings closed,” Superintendent Michael Martirano said in a news release late Monday afternoon. “I remain committed to transparency and want to make this a completely open process.”

The next Superintendent’s Commission on Assessment meeting will be 10 a.m. Tuesday in Building 6, Room 353 of the Capitol Complex in Charleston. The commission had its initial meeting last month.

The news release comes after some lawmakers publicly complained about the meetings being closed. When contacted Monday by the Gazette-Mail, two delegates — Gary Howell, R-Mineral, and Jim Butler, R-Mason — forwarded to the Gazette-Mail an email from Deputy State Schools Superintendent Cindy Daniel that showed the time and location of the meeting and was addressed to members of the commission.

Butler and Howell, who aren’t part of the commission, declined to publicly state how they obtained the email. The Gazette-Mail again asked the education department Monday to open the meetings after the newspaper noted it had the email…

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