The board's biggest accomplishment so far is its work on preparing students for a career after high school, whether that means college or entering the job market, Phares said.
The department already has implemented 21 simulated workplaces -- which enhance vocational education and encourage individual learning -- in schools across the state, and plans to increase the number to 45 by next school year.
On Wednesday, state school board member Lloyd Jackson called that fact alone "exactly the answer to what the governor's letter asked of us.
"I think that's the No. 1 thing that he [Tomblin] is going to be happiest with . . ., and here's why: We have a tremendous sense of urgency in this state, due to the economic development on the Western side of the state, to have people work-ready," Phares said. "The clear and readily apparent message that kept coming through was we've got to have kids come into high school ready to go to work for many of the jobs that are being created over there."
"For the first time, maybe ever, the board, the department and the Governor's Office actually were kind of on the same wavelength all the way through it."
The board did not approve the proposed status report in full on Wednesday and will continue to make recommendations.
"The No. 1 thing is that this report isn't a list of things that's going to be done; it's actually a list of things that have been done," Phares said. "Because, quite often, when you get a book like that, it's full of big ideas and no results. This one is just the opposite. Every individual, every committee that worked on this, actually got stuff done, in terms of meeting deadlines and checking things off."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.