Justice Shows No Interest in Fixing Education | Opinion
Gov. Jim Justice spends too much time humbly bragging about a phantom economic rocket vehicle he claims he single-handedly designed for the state, but West Virginia’s foundation for education has deteriorated. and has fallen into such desolation. A significant investment of time and money is required to rebuild and provide an unimpeded path.
Clearly the governor isn’t paying attention. Beyond that, there are serious concerns about whether he can fix much of anything – not to mention the fundamental issues with which this country’s future will rise or fall.
In recent weeks, the state has received disappointing news on three different fronts. Each issued a warning that the state’s political leaders, including the governor, simply ignored.
First, standardized test results show that the majority of West Virginia 11th graders (those who are about to graduate) are not proficient in math or science. far cry. Specifically, only 21% of those students are proficient in mathematics and 27% are proficient in science.
The high water mark in its class is just breaking the surface. In reading comprehension, 50% of the class tested proficient. And of course, that means half the class isn’t proficient.
The good news – the only hint of good news – is that most numbers are up from the previous year, the first year of major Covid disruptions and distance learning. But his overall reading proficiency rate of 42% for all classes is below the rate five years ago (when Justice was in the first year of his first term).
The report has other sour notes compiled from tests of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th grade students.
λTwenty-eight percent tested as proficient in science, the same as in the first year of the pandemic, but 10% lower than in 2017-2018.
λMathematics proficiency scores rose 5 points from a historic low of 28 during the pandemic. However, while math scores were the highest in his junior year, at 46% proficiency, in 11th grade his proficiency steadily dropped to his 21%.
Fewer than 46% of West Virginia public high school graduates in May 2021 had been in college in the past year.
The 45.9 percent “go” rate represents a 2.3 percent decrease from the 2020 class.
Statistics also show a 10% decline in the number of men graduating from high school and attending college in West Virginia over the past decade.
Finally, as detailed in today’s Register-Herald front page article, the state has nearly 1,500 teaching positions open during the 2022-2023 school year.
John Kesenberry, president of the Raleigh County Education Association, who has spent 20 years at our school, believes that multiple factors, including increased political intervention, declining respect for the profession, and loss of teacher liberty, have contributed to the decline of teachers. said to contribute to his absence. just teach.
And yes, in a state where the state ranks 49th out of 50, there is a charge.
So what’s the use of a governor’s rocket ship ride when a state’s most basic responsibility, educating its youth, is looming in the nation?
Where is our politics getting so toxic that teachers say stop it?
Here’s the truth: The boost West Virginia’s fortunes have seen in the governor’s six years is thanks to generous federal spending, the latest being big cash to address Covid concerns .
But make no mistake. The state’s $1.3 billion budget surplus is due to a massive infusion of federal dollars. And what does the governor want to do with it? He wants his personal income tax to be permanently reduced by 10%.
Clearly he hasn’t done his homework. The precepts written big on the state blackboard didn’t resonate with him.
It’s a fair assessment to say that the governor doesn’t know how to get the state out of the morass of an education deadlock.
Forget the Rocketship vehicle that never existed. All we need is someone to get an education out of the chasm and get back on the road to achievement and prosperity.