CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the state Board of Education looks nationwide for the next state school superintendent, the president of the West Virginia Education Association isn’t convinced the search needs to go that far afield.

“I still think you have to have some ties to West Virginia,” said Dale Lee. “You have to have some knowledge of our school system to be able to successfully lead us in a direction we want to go right now.

“We need someone who will listen to the teachers, who are the true experts of public education. (Someone) that has the knowledge of what it’s been like to be in the classroom.”

Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Jim Phares, who plans to retire at the end of June, started out as a teacher before moving into administration as superintendent in Pocahontas, Marion and Randolph counties.

Lee criticized the board of education for spending funds on a nationwide search—money he said should be used to improve the education system.

“We’re concerned about the money it would cost for a (teacher) planning period but we’re going to hire a firm to do a national search for a superintendent? That’s double-speak to me,” Lee said.

He referred to the bill Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed earlier this month that would have given teachers more control over their planning periods.

bubble graphic

34

bubble graphic

Comments

  • MickandAllysDad

    Sounds like the fix is in place and the Teacher's Union Rep wants to save money because the choice has been made. We all know who it will be. Should be an interesting ride.

  • Independent View

    Gary Karstens
    And back at you--it speaks volumes about anyone that would propose the Gazette's Resident Ranting Lefty, Jane Claymore.
    Point No. 2: why do Catholic Schools well outperform public schools. Same type of students, same type of school buildings, athletic programs, social programs. What is the uncommon denominator here? Teachers!
    Gary Karstens, your views are soooooo far left, one would need a telescope to find you.
    Stop making excuses and being sooooo thin skined. It is NOT unreasonable to expect accountability! Try the private sector, it has accountability--produce or get fired, unlike teachers the incompetent ones get a raise too.

    • Tanya

      Geez, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize the reason private schools outperform public these days. When was the last time you saw kids in private schools that come out of homes where the parents don't work, participate in drug related activities, and make no effort to feed and clothe their children. I rest my case.....oh, and if Independent Thinker would like to visit a public school to make the comparison I just made, fell free to let me know WHEN. I think I can arrange it!

  • Tanya

    IV, and your point is.....that teachers should be insubordinate and NOT teach the curriculum with fidelity?

    Are you an administrator or a teacher with a novel twist for a new teacher union? Will you offer protection for teachers willing to "go off the grid?"

    There is no excuse or protection for insubordination. It is now easier to terminate teachers than ever before, using evidence such as code of conduct, insubordination, or a poor evaluation. Gone are the days that the "unions" protected poor teachers, as you assert.

  • Tanya

    IV, and your point is.....that teachers should be insubordinate and NOT teach the curriculum with fidelity?

    Are you an administrator or a teacher with a novel twist for a new teacher union? Will you offer protection for teachers willing to "go off the grid?"

    There is no excuse or protection for insubordination. It is now easier to terminate teachers than ever before, using evidence such as code of conduct, insubordination, or a poor evaluation. Gone are the days that the "unions" protected poor teachers, as you assert.

  • Gary Karstens

    A neo-con quoting George Bush makes sense. Here is a guy who says we can't all be pizza drivers, but yet that administration saw the biggest outsourcing of jobs overseas in our lifetimes.

    Tonya is right. Teachers are limited in what they can do with a child's education. How about we start looking at parents that don't raise their kids properly? How about we start looking at parents who spend zero time in helping to educating their children at home and just send them off to a governmental agency to do it? I was taught just as much at home than I was at school and that is because I had parents that took an interest in me becoming an educated child.

    But instead, let's play the George Bush card and the Republican Congress of 2000-2006 that said "blame the teacher". It appears a neo-con like independent view (nice name) has bought lock-stock into this well-though of philosophy.

    How about we quit promoting every ex-coach and PE teacher who wants a pay raise by becoming an administrator and start getting some thinkers on these positions? Unlike the good ole' days, teachers now have to spend a lot more time with class disruptions than they have in any era. That takes time away from teaching and creates distractions to other students. How about we start looking at some real problems in education other than the worn out Independent View of "blame the union"?!?!?!

    • Tanya

      Agree, Gary! If it weren't for WVEA, teachers would still be eating lunch with the kids! And, they wouldn't have plan periods.

  • Independent View

    Your points are noted Tanya. However, it is always popular to blame others and therein lies a major portion of the problems in WV's Educational System--nobody wants to accept responsibility or provide accountability.
    To say that it's not the teachers causing the obstacles or problems is merely a finger pointing exercise. And to say, "...they are told to follow the prescriptions, or be fired?" That is disingenuous. Other than having an inapprioate physical realationship with a student, when was the last time anyone heard of a teacher being fired for incompetence?
    If the teachers' and their unions spent more time lobbying the state legislature and congress for meaningful changes rather than pay raises and incresed finge benefits maybe there would be some positive changes, like teaching Johnny and Mary how to read, write, speak properly, have some knowledge of geography and mathematics and colleges and universities could eliminate the "bone-head" English, math and science classes needed by incoming freshmen.
    As George Bush astutely observed, "we all can't deliver pizzas to each other."
    And another trusim, "you are either part of the solution or part of the problem." So, get off your duffs, stop whining and lobbying for more pay raises and enhanced benefits and for a change, do someting to help the students.

    • Tanya

      Yes, and you're blaming the people who have the least control. Lets place the blame where it really lies.
      And BTW, the unions have a member mandate to lobby for pay raises because WV cannot attract teachers to fill the vacancies in a state that pays its teachers at the bottom of the national pay scale. I cannot quite understand your problem with that!

  • Tanya

    Teachers are told to teach the curriculum with fidelity by their central office administrators. The curriculum is a "prescription" that is intended to meet all gov't mandated standards. Those students who fall behind are prescribed reteaching curriculum, designed by administrators, to improve student deficiencies. So, tell me how teachers can be blamed for student short-comings when they are told to follow the prescriptions, or be fired?

    It seems to me that teachers are criticized unduly for the ineptness or lackadaisical decisions set forth by administrators. Increasing the number of administrators two-fold in the last decade hasn't resolved the problem. Maybe it's time to rethink staffing....increase teachers and decrease administrators!

  • Tanya

    Exactly what does the state board of education do for the 55 counties? Lets do away with it, and the WVDE, for failing to provide plans to improve underperforming schools.

  • Independent View

    Gary Karstens
    Yea, let's hire the Charleston Gazette's Lefty Rant Queen!
    Just what we need another firmly entrenched insider of the Charleston "step & fetch it" union stooges! And, if that's not enough, she is a teacher too. More of the same!
    Only an dummy would not know what happens when a union member moves up into an administrative position.

    • Aaron

      Does she reach dummy on the intellect scale?

    • Tanya

      The solution is.....increase teachers and DECREASE administrators. All administrators hired in the last decade should be placed on the RIF list.

    • Gary Karstens

      An dummy? YEESH!!!!

      • Independent View

        It's soooo refreshing to see you make note of my typo Gary Karstens. Thank you, that really strikes down my argument doesn't it?
        Lame.
        And, to Tanya: for you to say that parents send their children to Catholic schools because they are more affluent is not entirely correct. In the case you do not know it, parents can get the portion of their property taxes refunded that are transfered to county BOEs if the parent enrolls their child in a Catholic or private school and use those tax dollars to pay the tuition costs. And, aside from Catholic schools, what about religion-based schools, these students typically out perform public school students.
        Have either of not been in a convenience store, grocery store, Wal-Mart, doctors office, court house and noted that the majority of the employees, high school graduates, some with college, cannot even speak correctly and could not make change if the automated cash register didn't tell them the correct amount to give back to the customer, and somehow that's the parents fault and not the education system?
        Teachers live in the bubble of academia and for some unknown reason have subscribed to the process of no accountability. It doesn't take a PhD to make the observation that the worst teacher in the next classromm is paid the same as the best teacher and somehow that's acceptable? The good teachers should be screaming because it fosters a system of mediocrity and failure.

        • Tanya

          Come out from behind your computer and enter the REAL world. The people I'm referencing don't own property, so it would be difficult to get a portion of their property taxes refunded!

          This is my final response to you because your views are lame and senseless.

          • Independent View

            And your views are somehow superior to others Tanya?
            Now that is lame, but obviously, one cannot use logic on a Liberal.

          • Independent View

            Tanya: This too is my final response. I take exception to telling me to: "come out from behind your computer and enter the REAL world." I am in the real world and not the safe and nuturing womb of academia. I have been in the real world for years, specifically, the corporate world. Something you obvious no little or nothing about. In my world it's produce, based on an annual evaluation and guess what--if you haven't met set goals, unlike teahers, you do not get automatic pay raises based on longevity or the graciousness (vote pandering) of the legislature--you get fired! As to education, although I do not know you and you ceratinly do not know me, I probably have more education than you and most teachers and also hold a professional registration awarded only after passing a two day grueling exam, with 1st timers experiencing a 50% failure rate.

  • Tired of it All

    Why does WV need to have 55 county Boards of Education?

  • IRON HORSE

    Check the kindergarten classes I'm sure you can find a replacement. WVA schools are in a mess because the government has to much of their noise stuck into how students should be taught. we have kids who can't even write because their hand writing is so bad you can't read it crazy!!!

  • DWL

    Yep! Lets keep doing the same ole, same ole, over and over again!?!. What we need is a superintendent isn't afraid of the union and, in fact, is willing to break the unions. The UNIONS are the demise of the education system, statewide and nationwide. They are the common core of the stupidity.

  • Gary Karstens

    I support Jane Claymore for superintendent. I am hoping she gets the post.

    • Aaron

      If she is the standard for a superintendent in this state, than we are doomed. While I don't agree with her views, her ability to write a logical, sought out opinion piece is non-existent. I wouldn't let this woman teach my dog how to choose a bone much less teacher high school class and now someone is suggesting that she's material for state superintendent of schools.

      Dear God

  • ViennaGuy

    There are times when it's a smart idea to hire someone who doesn't have direct ties. New thinking should be welcomed and wanted, not dismissed. The education old-boy network in this state doesn't like those hires, though ... they don't like their feathers ruffled.

  • Independent View

    Surrrrrrrre, let's hire a WV resident that's been in the system. That's union speak for. "we want someone that will be a hand-puppet for the teacher's union and carry our water."
    After decades of the good ole boy network surely we have realized that it doesn't work?
    However, as long as the shadow U.S. Senator, Gayle Manchin is calling the shots as the state BOE Chair and teachers or former teachers chair education committees in the legislature, nothing will change.
    Any potential knowledgeable candidate will survey the tilted playing field and bow-out. Get ready for continuation of the downward spiral or at best, medicority in the WV Education System.