Trying Something New for Education

Knee-jerk refusal to try anything really new in West Virginia’s public education system has resulted in a mess that should be pleasing to no one. It’s time to rethink that approach with ideas such as these:

– Privatizing the Public Employees Insurance Agency, as we did successfully a few years ago with the workers’ compensation program. Savings could go into substantially better salaries for teachers, among others.

– Offering higher, more competitive pay to teachers in specialties such as mathematics and in areas where, because of salary scales in neighboring states, West Virginia continues to have trouble attracting and keeping qualified educators.

– Incentives for truly outstanding teachers and principals who are leaders in making their schools better.

– Much more flexibility for schools and school systems that really work.

– Near-zero tolerance for those that, given fair chances to succeed, don’t.

– Better ways of getting more parents to participate in their children’s education.

– Focusing resources on areas of real need, rather than on politically correct shotgun approaches to problems.

Outrageous ideas? Really? More outrageous than the state of our public schools in West Virginia?