Ashton Marra

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.

During the legislative session, Ashton focuses on the state Senate, bringing daily reports from the inner-workings of the state’s upper house on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s nightly television show The Legislature Today.

Ashton comes to WVPBS from ABC News’ morning program Good Morning America where she worked as a production associate. Ashton produced pieces for the broadcast, including the first identified victim of the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, as well as multiple entertainment news stories.

Before her time at GMA, Ashton worked as an intern on ABC’s news assignment desk, helping to organize coverage of major news stories like the Trayvon Martin case, the Jerry Sandusky trail, tornadoes that ravaged the South and Midwest and the 2012 Presidential election. She also spent 18 months as a weekend reporter for WDTV based in her hometown of Clarksburg, WV, breaking the story of missing Lewis County toddler Aliayah Lunsford. Ashton’s work from that story was feature on HLN’s Nancy Grace in October of 2011.

Ashton graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University in May of 2012, where she was named WVU’s Reporter of the Year. She covered government for the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s bi-weekly newscast WVU News and also served a semester as the WVPBS bureau reporter.

When she isn’t reporting, Ashton enjoys cooking and is an avid supporter of the arts, including theater, music and dance. She is a huge fan of musicals and touts her collection of Playbills from the Broadway musicals she’s attended, which grew by nearly 30 in her 9 months living in New York City.

 

Harris and Mandi Jaffe are 16-year-old rising juniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Provided Photo

Mandi and Harris Jaffe were both on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 when a former student started firing.

Ashton Marra / ideastream

The Zelma Watson George Community Center sits in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Cleveland. After school, a group of teenagers plays a game of three on three in the indoor basketball court as the recreation center’s manager, Ieshia Harrison, looks on.

While Ohio could be the home of a national championship basketball team, with the Cavs competing in their first game of the 2018 NBA Finals Thursday night, the state unfortunately won’t be the home of this year’s national spelling champion.

“Popliteal” and “mydriasis” were the two words that took down Ohio’s final participants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington Thursday.

A classroom at Cleveland's John Hay High School.
Ashton Marra / Ideastream

A new Stanford University analysis of state and national test scores shows more Ohio students pass state exams than similar nationwide tests, which researchers say means the state’s proficiency standards are too low.

Classroom
wokandapix / Pixabay

State Board of Education members will vote this week on whether to ask for a delay in the implementation of the final phase of the state’s A-F grading system.

At least one Ohio school impacted by the abrupt bankruptcy of Discovery Tours will still be able to take their field trip, thanks to the help of their local community, but the travel company’s closure is affecting students across the state.

The Columbus Board of Education voted Friday to accept more than $20,000 in donations from local education groups, firefighters, police officers and others for students at Ridgeview Middle School.

Ohio U.S. Sentators Rob Portman, left, and Sherrod Brown.
Ideastream

Ohio's Senators are taking opposite sides after President Trump announced Tuesday he would back out of an agreement meant to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. 

Across Ohio, colleges and universities are celebrating their spring commencements this month, with some like Ohio State University celebrating the largest graduating classes in their history, but a report from the non-profit National Association of Colleges and Employers shows both private and public sector employers expect to hire fewer graduates this year.

“The employers said they plan to decrease their hiring by just 1.3 percent,” NACE Research Manager Andrea Koncz reported.

When Ohio’s scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP, exam were released last month, they showed almost no academic growth for Ohio fourth and eighth graders, much like the rest of the country.

In fact, Florida was one of the only states to show progress, especially with low-income and black students.

As Ohio prepares to elect a new governor, Ohioans are also assessing the legacy Gov. John Kasich will leave after 8 years at the helm of the state, but in the world of education, leaders say it will take time before the success of Kasich’s reforms can be judged.

Here are three of those reforms and what policy analysts and education officials think about their impact on Ohio’s schools.

1. A-F School Grades

Pages