“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
Education is the cornerstone on which we build our future. As a lifelong West Virginian and the product of our public school systems, I am indebted to many great educators that taught me. My mother is a secretary at the Cabell County Board of Education.
We must work at every level to balance the improvement of our education system and the ability to empower local school districts to make the decisions that best suit the needs of their communities. While I was in school, there was always resistance to “No Child Left Behind.” In more recent years there has been huge resistance to “Common Core.” Recently, the state chose the SAT as a standardized measure of achievement for our school systems. The need to measure results is great. We can’t rely qualitative measurement to determine our effectiveness in educating our youth. A quantitative measurement is a must.
With that said, we must allow our school districts the maneuverability necessary to experiment and to innovate. Ultimately, the results are our concern. The methods should be left to the school boards and staff. The state cannot ever hope to be as agile as our local governments. Therefore, our role must be to measure results, and encourage innovation from our local school boards.
In regards to higher education, we must continue to fund our institutions. In doing so, we must incentivize good institutional governance and return on institutional investment. The economic impact of Marshall University is enormous for the 16th district. We must continue to measure that impact, incentivize greater impact, and thus realize ever-greater returns on our investment in our universities.