The Times West Virginian

Opinion

November 25, 2012

No quick fixes when it comes to education

If your car is making strange noises and appears to be losing gas mileage, you take it to a mechanic. If you can’t stay awake during the work day and are seeing spots, you go see a doctor.

In both cases, a battery of tests will be run to determine the cause of the problem.

Sometimes its a quick fix. Replace this part. Here, take this pill twice a day and call me in a week.

But sometimes the fix isn’t so quick and involves a change in a habit or a lifestyle choice. Change your oil every 3,000 miles and stop driving until the tank is empty. Lose 50 pounds and quick drinking pop.

If it feels like something maybe wrong with the statewide school system and the West Virginia Department of Education, you undergo an audit, as directed last year by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. But the issue at hand is that there are no quick fixes to the problems the department faces.

In fact, many of those issues will have to be solved with enabling legislation.

And the department of education will go on with a new leader.

In a very surprising move, the West Virginia Board of Education fired Superintendent Jorea Marple on Nov. 15. While there are concerns that the open meeting laws may have been violated and the board will meet again to discuss the issue on Thursday, there probably won’t be a difference in the 5-2 vote that led to the end of her career.

“We are not satisfied with our current levels of performance and progress,” board President Wade Linger said last week as the BOE presented a 130-page document responding to the audit. “The board has begun the process of establishing measurable objectives that challenge all schools to improve student learning. We are developing initiatives on the use of time, teaching, technology, operational and management efficiency, raising educational quality statewide and accreditation restructuring — the game changers that will move the system forward more quickly.”

There are things the BOE found in the audit that it supports, like eliminating 10 upper-level administrative positions in the WVDE, which has been accused of being bogged down by state-level bureaucracy. There are other audit finding the board agrees with, like professional development for educators and addressing teacher recruitment and hiring.

Above all, the $90 million per year the audit suggests can be achieved in savings must be reinvested in the school system, the BOE said.

But when it comes to education reform, there are no easy answers.

Our forum for the tough questions is on www.timeswv.com, where we ask our readers to weigh in on the issues in our online poll. Last week, we asked “State Superintendent Jorea Marple was fired last week in an apparent effort by the BOE to kick start education reform. What needs to be addressed first”

Student achievement. Our failure to make any improvement toward Adequate Yearly Progress statewide is embarrassing — 6.19 percent

Teacher accountability. Nothing will change until the attitudes change on the classroom level — 34.51 percent

The top-heavy administration. More funds should go toward teachers on the battle fronts, not the “generals” on the hill — 59.29 percent

It will be interesting to see what state lawmakers do with the recommendations, but we look forward to seeing some positive changes.

This week, let’s talk a little about Christmas and the Christmas shopping season. Feeling like Jolly Ol’ St. Nick or Ebeneezer Scrooge this year?

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor

mpoe@timeswv.com

@MistyPoeTWV

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads