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Education system needs reform, not status quo

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  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
  • Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Friday, August 8 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-08 10:00:18 GMT
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
  • Successful privatization should inspire more reform

    Successful privatization should inspire more reform

    Friday, August 1 2014 1:48 PM EDT2014-08-01 17:48:52 GMT
    It’s not a stretch to say West Virginia once had the dubious distinction of having the worst workers’ compensation system in the nation.
    It’s not a stretch to say West Virginia once had the dubious distinction of having the worst workers’ compensation system in the nation.

Education reform continues to be a major topic during this year's legislative session. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has put forth sweeping, once-in-a-lifetime changes to our school system. We hate to use the term "make or break," but that old cliché clearly fits this situation. Tomblin's bill would give local boards of education, principals and teachers flexibility and control and, hopefully, allow them to better educate, challenge and motivate our students. Decisions would be made at the local level. Principals would have more options when it comes to how they run their facilities and teachers would be empowered in their classrooms.

According to a number of studies, West Virginia spends upwards of $3 billion a year on education, but our public schools are just not preparing our students to meet the demands of today's workplace. Already, the upholders of the status quo are defending the current system, claiming that nothing is wrong. Yet, honesty must be part of this debate and if we're being honest, we know we can do better. So much better. This is the year when say enough is enough, or we stand by as we fail another generation of young people.