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SNAP Changes Would Require “Massive Expansion of Bureaucracy”

The Free Press WV

Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) now under debate in Congress would mean an explosion of red tape and bureaucracy for states and the poor, according to a new report.

Rules added to SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, could include much tighter income and work requirements - and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report finds states totally unprepared to implement them.

Stacy Dean, CBPP vice president for food assistance policy, said caseworkers would go from checking work and income a few times a year, to every month. She noted how complicated that would be in the instance of a waitress.

“One week, her employer gives her 25 hours a week; the next, 18,“ Dean said. “So, she could end up losing SNAP under the House bill because she just can’t get enough hours to meet the requirement, or misses one month of paperwork filing, explaining what’s happening with her hours.“

Supporters argue tightening the rules would push more people into jobs and save the government money. But critics say the rules could cost more to enforce, with the only savings coming from ending food assistance.

A Thursday House vote on the Farm Bill, which includes the SNAP revisions, was stalled by a fight over unrelated immigration issues.

In the House bill, every unemployed applicant would be referred to job training. The report estimates those state programs would jump from serving about a quarter-million people a month to more than three million.

As Seth DiStefano, policy outreach director for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy pointed out, state lawmakers are unlikely to budget enough for the Department of Health and Human Resources to meet the added demands.

“That is a massive expansion of bureaucracy,“ said DeStefano. “Our good folks at DHHR are beyond stretched to the max, and our State Legislature is not going to appropriate several million dollars to hire several thousand more caseworkers.“

According to the report, 80 percent of able SNAP recipients already work, have worked or will go to work within a year under the current rules. By comparison, a West Virginia work-rules pilot project did not move people into jobs, but saw a significant increase in demand at food banks.

~~  Dan Hayman ~~

G-OpEd™: National Police Week

The Free Press WV

As National Police Week comes to a close, take time to recognize the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our law enforcement community. Words are insufficient to express the gratitude of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, but words are sometimes all we have. Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers are the guardians of our communities. Often at great sacrifice, they enforce the rule of law and keep us safe.

This country’s first known officer death in the line of duty was in 1791. His name was Constable Darius Quimby. He was from New York and was killed trying to arrest a man for a trespassing warrant. The man who killed Constable Quimby was named Whiting Sweeting. He was convicted and hanged. Since the murder of Constable Quimby, there have been more than 20,000 officers killed in the line of duty.

According to the FBI, there were 93 of their brothers and sisters who died across the country in line of duty incidents in 2017. One of them was from West Virginia. Lieutenant Aaron Crook of the Bluefield Police Department died on May 30, 2017 as the result of a vehicle crash at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Lee Street shortly after midnight while involved in a vehicle pursuit of a suspected drunk driver. His patrol car collided with another Bluefield Police Department patrol car and a West Virginia State Police cruiser. Lieutenant Crook was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Bluefield Police Department for nine years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

We’ve had 49 deaths nationally so far in 2018, with half of those being by gunfire. The headlines don’t lie. Officers are many times targets in today’s climate.

In April of this year, Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey and Sergeant Noel Ramirez were simply eating lunch while on a break from their duties with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Someone opened fire on the officers from outside the restaurant through a window. Both of these officers perished.

Some perish during acts of total selflessness. Police Officer Rodney Scott Smith of the Hickman Police Department in Kentucky was patrolling a flooded area in March of this year, looking for those in need of rescue when his police cruiser was swept away by flood waters. Rodney spent his last watch watching out for others. That’s what guardians do.

Our prayers go out to all of the families of these extraordinary men and women. It takes great courage to be in law enforcement and great strength to be a family member of a law enforcement officer. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

As the United States Attorney, I have the privilege of interacting with law enforcement professionals on a nearly daily basis. They are, without question, some of the finest and most dedicated people I’ve encountered in my professional life. There is not a task too big. There is not a sacrifice too great. The professionals I work with are not doing it for the money. They don’t do it for the great work hours or the abuse they take day to day. They are not always perfect, but they have one goal—to make our community safer by protecting those who live in it. They, more often than not, represent the best of us.

Every day I see actions by federal, state and local officers which likely save lives. Whether it is the arrest of a dealer of fentanyl, a felon in possession of a firearm, or the rescue of a child in an abusive situation—lives are saved. Those officers ask for nothing special: not special recognition, not to be singled out and not even for thanks—though that is appreciated and not provided often enough. They just want to do their jobs because they know they are making their communities—the communities that they and their families live in—safer.

Notwithstanding the inherent risks and known dangers, notwithstanding the unfairly broad brush of scorn they get painted with in today’s society, and notwithstanding the physical and emotional pain they are exposed to on a daily basis, our law enforcement members continue to put on their badge every hour of every day. Whether it’s Christmas Day, or 2:00 a.m. on any other day, they are always there for us. That’s what guardians do.

Those who give the ultimate sacrifice gave, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “the last full measure of devotion.”

So, this week we honor these men and women. Thank you for your service, sacrifice and dedication. Our society is better because of you.

United States Attorney Bill Powell, Northern District of West Virginia

WVDA Warns Public to be on the Lookout for Exotic Tick

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is advising the public to be on the lookout for a potential, new tick threat to West Virginia.

On Monday, May 14, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, IA confirmed the finding of the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (otherwise known as the East Asian or longhorned tick) in Virginia.

The tick appeared on an orphaned calf found on a beef farm located in Albemarle County, VA.

“Our beef industry is the second largest agricultural commodity in the state. This exotic tick is a threat to angus and beef farmers a like,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We are asking the public to be aware this tick may already be in West Virginia.”

In late 2017, the longhorned tick was found initially in New Jersey.

No known direct link exists between the Virginia farm and the area in New Jersey where the tick first appeared.

The WVDA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture and other West Virginia stakeholders to determine if the tick is present in the state.

Active tick surveillance and livestock infestation investigations have been initiated.

Suspicious ticks will be submitted to the NVSL for analysis and confirmation.

“Livestock producers, animal owners and veterinarians should notify the State Veterinarian’s office if they notice any unusual ticks, or ticks that occur in large numbers on an individual animal. Typically, these ticks are seen in the greatest numbers in spring and fall but can persist through all four seasons, especially in warmer weather,” said State Veterinarian Dr. James Maxwell. “Livestock producers can work with their veterinarians to develop a tick prevention and control program.”

For more information, please contact the WVDA’s Animal Health Division at 304-.558.2214.

MVP Protester “Living on Energy Bars and Rainwater”

The Free Press WV

After a month-and-a-half of pole-sitting on Peter’s Mountain, a protester blocking progress of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is living on energy bars, packets of applesauce and rainwater - but has no plans to leave.

The pole was erected in the middle of the sole access road. As long it’s there, developers’ heavy equipment can’t reach the pipeline site.

At the protesters’ base camp, supporter Elliot Williams said for the last five weeks, the U.S. Forest Service has also blocked them from using the trail or otherwise resupplying the protester.

“It’s one meal a day right now. She’s limited herself down when she realized that she wasn’t going to get any more food,“ Williams explained. “And right now, it’s raining. She’s collecting water in a bucket. A few weeks ago, when it rained really hard, she collected seven gallons of water.“

The Mountain Valley Pipeline partnership led by EQT Corporation has gotten the necessary permits for the $3.7-billion-dollar project. It has criticized what it calls “obstructionists.“

The Forest Service has said the protesters don’t have the right to block the access road. A few days ago, however, the agency did allow a doctor to consult with the woman.

There were also several tree-sitters blocking the MVP site, although most of those protests have ended. None of the protesters would provide their names while on their perches, for fear of legal action.

According to Williams, supporters have nicknamed the woman on the pole “Nutty” - because from the ground, she looks like a nut at the top of a palm tree. However, they don’t think that describes her resolve.

“This person is obviously strong and strong willed. She sounds very smart and clear headed,“ said Williams. “She’s blocking the machinery from going up onto this beautiful mountain. So, she’s going to stay until she can’t.“

Peter’s Mountain straddles the Virginia-West Virginia border, adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. The pipeline is designed to carry billions of cubic feet of natural gas from the Marcellus fields to a connection point in Virginia, and from there to markets in the east.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

National Police Week 18

Attorney General Sessions and U.S. Attorney recognize law enforcement service and sacrifice during national police week

The Free Press WV

FBI Releases 2017 Statistics on of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted


Attorney General Sessions and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Powell recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week, and commented on the FBI’s 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.

West Virginia lost one officer in 2017. Lieutenant Aaron Crook of the Bluefield Police Department was killed in a vehicle crash while involved in a vehicle pursuit of a suspected drunk driver last May.

In recognition of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Powell will recognize those lives lost and offer words of encouragement and gratitude at the Wheeling Police Department’s Law Enforcement Memorial Service this Wednesday, May 16 at Wheeling’s Heritage Port. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

“One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Sessions said.  “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high.  At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families.  We are also following President Trump’s Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety, and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us.  As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”

“Every loss is significant. The men and women in law enforcement choose to put their lives on the line every day in the name of safety and security for their fellow neighbors. It is many times a thankless job involving long hours away from their loved ones. There are no words that can truly express our gratitude for their service and sacrifice,” said Powell.

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released this week.

In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice. 

During Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe.

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

To access the FBI’s 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

GSC Class of 2018 takes part in Commencement Ceremony

Glenville State College’s 144th Commencement Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 05 in the College’s Waco Center.

The Glenville State College Class of 2018 includes graduates who completed requirements for an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of academic areas including business, criminal justice, teacher education, and natural resource management among others.

The GSC Class of 2018 is made up of approximately 100 students who hail from throughout West Virginia and ten other states including California, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Virginia.

The Free Press WV
Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett at the podium during GSC’s 144th Commencement Ceremony held on Saturday, May 05


Twelve members of the GSC Class of 1968 returned to campus and were honored as fifty year graduates.

The returning alumni had an opportunity to reconnect with former classmates, enjoy a dinner, and tour campus on Friday and were officially recognized during the ceremony on Saturday.

Recognizing alumni celebrating their fiftieth reunion has become a tradition at GSC’s Commencement Ceremony.

Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy L. Pellett delivered remarks to those assembled for the ceremony.

“You’ve added value to your name, you’ve earned capital beyond any dollar and cents amount,” Pellett said, addressing the graduates. “This capital is a testament to your persistence, your will to overcome obstacles, and persevere despite challenges that at times probably seemed overwhelming. After this ceremony you’ll be entitled to display your success after your signature followed by a suffix; either A.S., B.S., or B.A. That suffix appends stature to your name; it is a clear sign to those around you that you have accomplished a challenging task overtime, you have a focused outlook, and that you can be a critical, collaborative, analytical, and deliberative thinker,” he added.

Pellett also noted a theme of change throughout his address, advising the graduates to embrace, accept, and enact change despite how difficult it may sometimes be. “Remember that change begins with you. It is important to that we love deeper, forgive more and gossip less, pay attention to those around us, call our friends, make time for those we care about, exercise more, and stop using the excuse that we’re too busy and will do it later,” he added.

The Free Press WV
Members of Glenville State College’s Class of 2018 move the tassels on their mortarboards from right to left, in the tradition that signifies completion of their degree


Fall classes at GSC will begin on Monday, August 13, 2018.

For information on enrolling and beginning your journey as a GSC Pioneer, visit www.glenville.edu/apply or contact the Glenville State College Office of Admissions at 304.462.4128.

May Is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

The Free Press WV

Camp Catch Your Breath Reminds You to Help Create Awareness About Asthma

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.“ It’s a peak season for those with asthma and allergies, and a perfect time to educate family, friends, co-workers, and others about these diseases.

Asthma causes swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritants entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms. These include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.

“Nationally, 1 in 13 people have asthma, which is approximately 25 million Americans or 7.6 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children,” said Sonny Hoskinson, Camp Catch Your Breath (CCYB) director and United Hospital Center pharmacist. “Sadly, ten people die each day from asthma, many of which could be avoided with proper care and treatment.”

There is no cure for asthma and allergies, and many deaths are preventable with proper treatment and care. More than 6 million children under the age of 18 have asthma. Asthma and allergy control begins at home. It is important to use appropriate and effective cleaning methods to address common indoor allergy triggers like dust mites, pet dander, and mold. Managing indoor air quality can lessen allergy symptoms and prevent asthma episodes.

“Please join CCYB in raising awareness for these common diseases,” said Hoskinson. “CCYB plays a vital role in the life of children ages 8-13 with asthma as it helps those

who attend the camp to self-manage their disease. Through the camp experience, campers are equipped with the knowledge needed to live the fullest life possible, despite the obstacles of asthma.

This year’s camp will be July 22-27 at WVU Jackson’s Mill in Weston, West Virginia.

National Small Business Week

The Free Press WV

With the first week of May each year being the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “National Small Business Week” it is a great time to celebrate and recognize those who represent the backbone of our local, state, and national economies.

Originally proclaimed in 1963, National Small Business Week recognizes small business owners, entrepreneurs and advocates for small business. The federal government estimates that small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. every year.

The West Virginia Secretary of State is charged with the responsibility to manage the registration of all entities operating and conducting business in the state. Secretary of State Mac Warner indicated that as of today there are a total of 97,867 for-profit entities operating in the state. There are an additional 10,596 non-profit organizations in good standing and registered to operate in West Virginia.

The Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division oversees the annual registration of all 108,000 entities doing business in the state. In addition, several specific kinds of entities are required by law to file special registration with the state. Those include:

  • 40,191 Notary Publics
  • 37,368 Persons Who Perform Marriages
  • 329 Athletic Agents
  • 350 Private Investigators & Security Guard Firms
  • 4,087 Charitable Organizations

“Businesses licensed by or registered with our office employ more 1.2 million West Virginians. Most of those are employed by small businesses,” Warner said. “It is only fitting that we take this time each year to recognize how important small businesses truly are to our economy.

On Wednesday, Warner will attend the SBA’s “National Small Business Week” awards luncheon for the West Virginia District. The luncheon will be held at the West Virginia High Technology Foundation in Fairmont. Similar events are being held throughout the country as the SBA recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.

In Fairmont, Warner will present certificates of congratulations to West Virginia regional and district honorees for 2018 being recognized by the SBA. This year’s honorees include:

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year 
Arria Hines - Allegheny Science & Technology Corporation
Bridgeport, WV
Nominated by: Lani MacRae, DOE

Small Business Subcontractor of the Year 
Jayachandra (Jay) Reddy - NextGen Federal Systems, LLC
Morgantown, WV 
Nominated by: Carl Wooden, Raytheon Company

Small Business Exporter of the Year
Paul Diserio - American Muscle Docks & Fabrication, LLC   
Wellsburg, WV
Nominated by: Sharon Stratton, SBDC

Small Business Person of the Year            
Douglas Tate - Alpha Technologies, Inc.   
Hurricane, WV
Nominated by: Terry Cyfers, SBDC

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year             
Cason & Bill Edwards - RKE Corporation   
St. Marys, WV
Nominated by: Jody Murphy, Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce & Marsa Myers, SBDC

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year         
Michael Paul McKechnie - Mountain View Solar    
Berkeley Springs, WV
Nominated by: Mary Hott, SBDC

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year          
Kimberly Baker - River and Rail Bakery      
Huntington, WV
Nominated by: Amber Wilson, SBDC

Encore Entrepreneur of the Year               
Crista & Roger Johnson - Screech Owl Brewing      
Bruceton Mills, WV
Nominated by: Lindsey Teets, SBDC

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 
Aaron Harris - Aaron Harris Auction Services          
Volga, WV
Nominated by: Susannah Higgins, SBDC

West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year             
Christy Laxton - Wyoming County Economic Development Authority            
Pineville, WV
Nominated by: Harold Patterson, SBDC

“The Small Business Administration is a vital resource for the West Virginia business community. The SBA is important to a strong, diverse and growing economy here in the Mountain State,” Warner said.

Earlier this year, Secretary Warner and Governor Jim Justice officially opened the West Virginia One Stop Business Center – the only four-agency single-location business licensing and registration center in the United States. The One Stop is housed in a stand-alone building at 1615 Washington Street East near the State Capitol. The Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division, the State Tax Department, the Division of Labor and Workforce West Virginia all have office staff in place at the One Stop.

To support the One Stop concept and with support of the Legislature, Warner also opened Business Hub satellite offices in Clarksburg and Martinsburg to make it more convenient for business owners and entrepreneurs.

The Legislature also approved legislation requested by Warner to offer expedited services for the immediate needs of the business community. Rather than the typical 5-7 day turnaround for most registration and licensing, companies can now request 1-hour, 2-hour and 24-hour services for an additional fee. Fees generated from the requests for expedited services are used to fund the operation of the One Stop.

Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04

The Free Press WV

National Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is urging people to take steps to reduce their contribution to air pollution.

Simple steps to reduce air pollution are: 

        • Carpool, use public transportation, bike or walk whenever possible; 
        • Follow gasoline refueling instructions and be careful not to spill fuel. Refueling your car in the evening or early morning when it is cooler reduces your contribution to ozone pollution; 
        • Keep your car, boat, and other engines properly tuned; 
        • Be sure your tires are properly inflated; 
        • Use environmentally-safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible; 
        • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment, and; 
        • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste. 

The DAQ maintains a statewide network for monitoring air quality. Air monitors located around the state record the concentrations of major pollutants. These raw measurements are then converted into an “Air Quality Index” (AQI) value, using standard formulas developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The reported index is updated on DAQ’s website (www.dep.wv.gov/daq/air-monitoring/Pages/AirQualityIndex.aspx), Monday through Friday, and is also available at www.airnow.gov.


NewsUnited States

(1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Is this article some sort of a joke ?
Certainly would seem so!

We are almost daily bombarded with chemical spraying from above.
We rarely actually have that clear, deep blue sky that God gave us.

If it happens we do get a clear(?) day, we will have the light blue, almost whispy white cloud sky.

Set a white bowl out in the rains.  Check to see what color the water is after a rain.  You will be
surprised.  Color will vary depending what is being sprayed on a given day.

If it were winter, I’d tell you to look at the snowflakes.  No more are all snowflakes different.  Watch what falls on your clothing, you will see 1,000’s of flakes all the same shape.  Again, depends what toxic material we are being blasted with.

Asthma attacks, ER visits are on the rise.
Do some web searching, plenty of websites report this travesty.  You tax dollars at ‘work’.

By WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ? ?  on  05.01.2018

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Education system perpetuates fraud at every level

The Free Press WV

Earlier this month, the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka The Nation’s Report Card, was released. It’s not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

The atrocious performance is only a fraction of the bad news. Nationally, our high school graduation rate is over 80 percent. That means high school diplomas, which attest that these students can read and compute at a 12th-grade level, are conferred when 63 percent are not proficient in reading and 75 percent are not proficient in math. For blacks, the news is worse.

Roughly 75 percent of black students received high school diplomas attesting that they could read and compute at the 12th-grade level. However, 83 percent could not read at that level, and 93 percent could not do math at that level. It’s grossly dishonest for the education establishment and politicians to boast about unprecedented graduation rates when the high school diplomas, for the most part, do not represent academic achievement. At best, they certify attendance.

Fraudulent high school diplomas aren’t the worst part of the fraud. Some of the greatest fraud occurs at the higher education levels — colleges and universities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college. Here are my questions to you: If only 37 percent of white high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 70 percent of them? And if roughly 17 percent of black high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 58 percent of them?

It’s inconceivable that college administrators are unaware that they are admitting students who are ill-prepared and cannot perform at the college level. Colleges cope with ill-prepared students in several ways. They provide remedial courses. One study suggests that more than two-thirds of community college students take at least one remedial course, as do 40 percent of four-year college students.

College professors dumb down their courses so that ill-prepared students can get passing grades. Colleges also set up majors with little analytical demands so as to accommodate students with analytical deficits. Such majors often include the term “studies,“ such as ethnic studies, cultural studies, gender studies and American studies. The major for the most ill-prepared students, sadly enough, is education. When students’ SAT scores are ranked by intended major, education majors place 26th on a list of 38 (https://tinyurl.com/pjmga9y).

The bottom line is that colleges are admitting youngsters who have not mastered what used to be considered a ninth-grade level of proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic. Very often, when they graduate from college, they still can’t master even a 12th-grade level of academic proficiency.

The problem is worse in college sports. During a recent University of North Carolina scandal, a learning specialist hired to help athletes found that during the period from 2004 to 2012, 60 percent of the 183 members of the football and basketball teams read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. About 10 percent read below a third-grade level. Keep in mind that all of these athletes both graduated from high school and were admitted to college.

How necessary is college anyway? One estimate is that 1 in 3 college graduates have a job historically performed by those with a high school diploma. According to Richard Vedder, distinguished emeritus professor of economics at Ohio University and the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in 2012 there were 115,000 janitors, 16,000 parking lot attendants, 83,000 bartenders and about 35,000 taxi drivers with a bachelor’s degree.

I’m not sure about what can be done about education. But the first step toward any solution is for the American people to be aware of academic fraud at every level of education.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.  Reflector.com


EducationNewsWest VirginiaUnited StatesOpinions | Commentary | G-LtE™ | G-Comm™ | G-OpEd™

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Fraud is committed in Gilmer County when citizens are told that our high school grads are prepared to be highly competitive for entry into the modern world.

The misinformation conflicts with verification that our grads lag when it comes to being college and career ready.

By being disadvantaged academically too many students drop out of college when they cannot compete and they often must go an extra year at a greater expense to catch-up.

There is another type of fraud not pointed out in the posting. It relates to bragging about the “fine” ACT test scores made by students at the GCHS.

For the ACT the average GCHS score as touted by school officials is close to 20. This may be slightly higher than average State scores, but here is the rub.

Our kids could not get accepted into top quality colleges and universities with stringent academic requirements to include those for ACT scores higher than most made at the GCHS.

What do they do? They attend institutions with relaxed acceptance criteria with some not having any basic requirements for ACT or SAT scores.

As a parent with a son at the Career Center I know that there must be remedial instruction in math and English for success in chosen career fields. It is called embedded instruction.

Because teachers must be hired at the Center for the catch-up it means that tax payers are paying twice (more fraud) for instruction that should have been done at the GCHS!

What can we do? Gilmer County must determine what must be done in our schools to make necessary improvements for the better to enable our kids to be the best they can be after HS. Simple isn’t it?

By We Want Better Schools  on  04.30.2018

Fraud is not only rampant in education, it consumes Gilmer County..  Those who Have want to keep it any and all costs, and those that don’t, want.  Gilmer needs a good house cleaning of court and legal ‘authorities’ as well if anything is Ever going to change.

By Spring cleaning!  on  05.01.2018

Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

America’s entire education system is a farce.
Education administrators worry about their job than worry about the children.

Youth is our future.
By creating dummies, do not expect much of a future.

The children are being short changed, robbed.
America is being short changed, robbed.

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House!  on  05.01.2018

Little doubt the block schedule system at the high school gives GC lower scores.

This has been proven over and over in other school systems.

Its an out dated and antiquated system.  Our board of education needs to get rid of it.

Gilmer County Board of Education….are you up to the job?

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads  on  05.02.2018

Disgraceful that WV lacks a top quality education system to prepare more high school graduates to be eligible for acceptance into the best colleges where there is competition for acceptance.

The deficiency forces students to attend lower tier places where everyone is accepted.

Why does WV fail to make improvements? It is because education delivery in our State is designed to be void of meaningful accountability for administrators.

By WVDE Watcher  on  05.03.2018

Even with enrolling in colleges where acceptance is noncompetitive, meaning that all applicants with at least C averages are accepted, the graduation rate to get a degree is around 35%.

This fact is more evidence for WV’s failed public education system and solid proof that a major top to bottom over haul is needed.

If we accept the often cited excuse that there is a problem with kids and their families to cause under achievement in school that line of reasoning suggests that West Virginians are inherently flawed. This is untrue and the problem lies with WV’s under performing education system.

By Rex Page  on  05.03.2018

Rex Page claims we have a college graduation rate of approximately 35%.

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

Think of how many dollars are wasted, and how many students are burdened with student loans, that basically will do them little good in life.

Oh yes.  It does pump money into the flawed system.

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system !  on  05.05.2018

Too often students have to go an extra year or longer to graduate from college with under graduate degrees because they were not prepared when they got there to enable them to complete on time.

The 35% graduation rate includes incoming freshmen who do not finish in four years, and it is factual that some of our public colleges have worse records than others.

WVU does above average, but it has large numbers of-out-of state better prepared students.

By R. Page  on  05.06.2018

Anyone interested in facts for graduation rates after four years of college can access information on WV’s Education Policy Commission web site.

The last time information was reported WV State was listed at 13.6% compared to WVU’s at 35.9%. GSC was at 25.1%.

Comments submitted so far flag a serious problem in WV. Student achievement information is scattered all over with it being reported by the State, the federal government, and testing organizations including ACT.

Because WV lacks an effective State clearing house to sort through the information and to interpret it for practical application in improving our pubic school systems, too much important quality control material is neglected.

When citizens take initiative to obtain the information and they cite it they are often berated to be a form of “attack the messenger”.

Then too there are the perennial apologists who say that everything is “just fine” to help confuse the issue even more to detract from school improvements.

By WVDE Career Employees  on  05.06.2018

How large was GSC’s graduating class of 2018 last week and what was its original size the fall of 2014?

Accurate information should be available to indicate retention. One news source reported that 100 graduated in the class of 2018.

By Alumni  on  05.13.2018

The GSC retention post must relate to those beginning in 2014 who planned for 4 year degrees and they dropped out. There probably were students who began in 2014 and they earned 2 year degrees before 2018 so they were not drop outs.

By GSC RETENTION?  on  05.15.2018

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EARLY VOTING

The Free Press WV

EARLY VOTING started WEDNESDAY and here are a few things you need to know:

1. It’s easy to vote during the Early Voting period, you can vote on your own schedule and the dates go from April 25 to May 5! That includes two Saturdays that you can make it to vote in this year’s Primary Election!

2. Call your County Clerk to find your polling place! The link can be found by clicking here.

3. Voter ID laws have changed, but don’t worry it’s simple. You can take either photo I.D. or non photo I.D. or you can take a friend to vouch for you. See below for a list of options and choose what is easiest for you!

The Free Press WV

Fortune magazine places West Virginia teachers on ‘Greatest Leaders’ list

The Free Press WV

Fortune magazine released its annual list of “the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” on Thursday, which included political figures, business leaders and West Virginia teachers.

Educators from the Mountain State took the 31st spot in the rankings for their work during the statewide work stoppage earlier this year, which led to actions in other states such as Arizona and Kentucky.

“For years, it has been universally acknowledged that American public school teachers are woefully underpaid — and considered a given that it has to be that way,” the publication wrote. “Late last year, thousands of West Virginia teachers rose up and said, ‘Enough,’ mobilizing on Facebook and defying their union to strike for fairer pay and higher standards.”

Schools statewide were closed for nine days as teachers and service personnel demanded better pay and benefits. The byproduct of the action was a 5 percent raise for all public employees and a task force dedicated to finding a solution for rising insurance costs for these workers.

“The Students” took the top spot on the list, with the publication noting the work of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School regarding gun violence.

Red-State Teacher Unrest Just Keeps Spreading

The Free Press WV

Eight Kentucky school districts — including those in Louisville and Lexington — are closed today as teachers stay home to protest the GOP legislature’s destructive “reforms” of their pension system. Oklahoma teachers are planning to strike on Monday despite winning a $6,100 pay raise. And Arizona teachers rallied at the state capital on Wednesday and are threatening to strike if their demands for major pay raises and restoration of education funding cuts are not met.

As this wave of unrest among teachers spreads nationally, it’s clear it has been inspired by the nine-day strike that won West Virginia teachers (and other state employees) a pay raise earlier this month. But there’s something more fundamental going on than copycat protests. We’re seeing a teacher-led backlash against years, and even decades, of Republican efforts at the state level to cut taxes and starve public investments. This is very clear in Oklahoma, where a quick pay raise the legislature passed this week is deemed by teachers to have missed the larger point:

“While this is major progress, this investment alone will not undo a decade of neglect. There is still work to do to get this legislature to invest more in our classrooms. And that work will continue Monday, when educators descend on the capitol,” Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said in a Facebook video Wednesday.

The pay-raise bill signed by Governor Mary Fallin yesterday brought in $447 million in new revenues from higher taxes on cigarettes and oil-production facilities. But the teachers are demanding $3.3 billion “to restore millions of dollars in school funding that have been cut in the past decade,” as Vox reports.

~~  Ed Kilgore - Daily Intelligencer   ~~

In Spite Of Marches, WV Expanding Gun Rights

The Free Press WV

Although more than a million and a half people around the country rallied for tighter gun laws last weekend, West Virginia has been moving in the opposite direction.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the student-led March For Our Lives sparked more than 750 events nationwide. But Gov. Jim Justice has just signed one bill expanding gun rights into law, and is considering another.

Delegate Mike Pushkin says the state does have a long tradition of hunting and gun ownership. But he says the issue also has regularly been used against Democrats.

“We might be the only state whose college mascot actually carries a gun, and that’s fine,“ he says. “But I think this issue has often been used in West Virginia as a way to get working-class people to vote against their own best interests.“

Gun-rights advocates say the spirit of the rifle-carrying WVU Mountaineer fits the rural state. And for the record, Oklahoma State’s mascot, Pistol Pete, has guns in his holsters.

Pushkin’s a cab driver and has a permit to carry a pistol, which he says he often does. But he says he also opposed parts of the two gun bills that passed the Legislature this year. One - just signed into law - will allow employees to keep firearms locked in their vehicles at work, and says their employer can’t ask about them. The other bill - still awaiting the governor’s decision - would forbid city rec centers from banning guns. Pushkin says both go too far.

“Common sense tells me, an employer should be able to ask an employee if they have a gun in the car,“ says Pushkin. “A director of a day-care center should be able to ask people not to bring guns around the children in the rec center.“

Pushkin says many responsible gun owners like him favor more limits on firearms. He says a lot of gun rhetoric is overheated. He says gun-free zones at schools, churches and businesses don’t make them targets for attack, and he points to the state Capitol, where arguments like that are often made.

“The general public has to walk through metal detectors to get into our Capitol,“ he notes. Why would we make that a gun-free zone? If it’s good enough to protect people like me and other folks in the Legislature, it should also be good enough to protect our children.“

Pushkin says in spite of the rhetoric, no one is trying to confiscate people’s firearms.

~~  Dan Hayman ~~

Governor Justice extends Tri-State Shale Coalition to develop regional natural gas industry

Cooperative agreement with Ohio, Pennsylvania, uses shared
shale gas resources to increase investments and jobs in Appalachian Basin
The Free Press WV

Governor Jim Justice announced the extension of the Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement with Ohio Governor John Kasich and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. The goal of the Tri-State agreement is to enhance regional cooperation and job growth through developing shale gas in the Appalachian Basin.

“Instead of competing, our three states are working together to promote the region as a center for shale-related manufacturing,” said Governor Justice. “Shale gas presents an opportunity to spur economic growth beyond the wellhead. We are working to attract investors and downstream partners. We are encouraging chemicals and plastics manufacturers to come here, stay here and grow here with us in the Appalachian region.”

The Appalachians have long been recognized as a source for valuable resources such as natural gas. The states host several chemical feedstock and plastics manufacturing businesses. The Tri-State Coalition participants intend to increase the region’s share of downstream-related business investments and the high-paying careers associated with them.

Under the agreement, the states work together on issues in infrastructure systems, workforce development and marketing activities to better enable the region to harness the potential of Appalachian gas and natural gas liquids.

The agreement identifies key areas in which the states cooperate to grow the natural gas industry, including workforce development, infrastructure and research.

During annual Tri-State Shale summits, the government, educational and industry leaders from across the region come together to share information and best practices.

A strong upsurge of investment in the U.S. chemical industry can be attributed at least in part to the plentiful supply of natural gas, reports the American Chemistry Council. The domestic supply gives U.S. chemical manufacturers a competitive edge, resulting in increased investment, industry growth and jobs. As of December 2017, the council reports, 317 projects cumulatively valued at $185 billion in capital investment have been announced.

The Memorandum of Understanding creating the Tri-State Shale Coalition was signed in 2015. The cooperative agreement renewed automatically each year. The new signatures continue the regional cooperation agreement through December 31, 2021.

Representatives from public-private, economic development and philanthropic organizations such as Vision Shared of West Virginia, TeamNEO of Ohio, The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Regional Pittsburgh Alliance of Pennsylvania help support and guide the coalition’s efforts.

For YOU...By YOU

West Virginia

United States

Fracking study shows no water well contamination

The Free Press WV Two years ago, University of Cincinnati environmental studies professor Dr. Amy Townsend-Small caused a stir when she told a meeting of the Carroll County (Ohio) Concerned Citizens that her research showed fracking was NOT polluting their water.  [ .... ]  Read More

Attorney General Morrisey, Broad Coalition Seek Answers About Facebook User Privacy

The Free Press WVWest Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a bipartisan group of 38 attorneys general in requesting Facebook executives respond to published reports that personal user information from its website was shared with third parties without the users’ knowledge or consent [ .... ]  Read More

Manchin Non-Committal On Trump Public Lands Agenda

The Free Press WVWith the Trump administration shrinking national monuments out West, Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, remains evasive about the public lands some say could be key to West Virginia’s future [ .... ]  Read More

Amtrak train headed to Greenbrier congressional retreat hits garbage truck

The Free Press WVThis garbage truck was struck by the Amtrak train Wednesday morning [ .... ]  Read More

New Trump Tip Rules Could Mean Lower Pay for Women Waiting Tables

The Free Press WVNew research says the take-home pay for women who wait tables in West Virginia could go from bad to worse if a proposed Trump administration rule is adopted [ .... ]  Read More

Paula Jean Swearingen, candidate for U.S. Senate, announces her candidacy

The Free Press WVPaula Jean Swearengin filed officially with the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday, January 26 to run for the U.S. senate seat currently held by Joe Manchin and announced new staff and an expanded organization in her continuing bid for the 2018 Democratic nomination [ .... ]  Read More

Vets Petition Trump, Interior To Protect Public Lands

The Free Press WVTwelve hundred veterans - more than 1,000 of them former officers - are calling on the White House to better protect national monuments and other public lands [ .... ]  Read More

Gas pipeline told to halt drilling under river after spill

The Free Press WVFederal regulators have again told a company building twin natural gas pipelines across northern Ohio to stop drilling under a river because of concerns over a spill.  [ .... ]  Read More

Tree felling is starting in West Virginia along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s path

The Free Press WVDominion says the work will only be done on properties where agreements have been reached with landowners.  [ .... ]  Read More

Citizen Surveillance Launched for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The Free Press WV A citizen initiative to monitor construction activities of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is being launched today by the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA), a coalition of over 50 organizations in Virginia and West Virginia [ .... ]  Read More

Will New Tax Law Reduce Corporate Offshoring?

The Free Press WVThere are said to be 3,000 subsidiaries of U.S. corporations headquartered in one small Cayman Islands building [ .... ]  Read More

Confusion Abounds After Sessions’ Big Marijuana Move

The Free Press WVAnnounced he’ll rescind policy that had let legalized marijuana flourish   [ .... ]  Read More

Tax Bill Could Raise WV Health Insurance Costs, Reduce Access

The Free Press WV The tax bill now being debated in Congress could have a major impact on West Virginians’ health insurance.

Energy Efficiency Program Likely to Survive Regulatory Challenge

The Free Press WVThe American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks West Virginia 47th among states in terms of energy efficiency.

Net Neutrality Protests Planned

The Free Press WV Four protests are planned in West Virginia, including in Charleston and Huntington.

United States

National

Politics

United States

Mueller’s Obstruction Inquiry Gets Its First Deadline

The Free Press WVSpecial counsel floats September 01 end date, but only if Trump sits for interview, says Giuliani   [ .... ]  Read More

Looking to Start a Career? Look Here

The Free Press WV Salt Lake City is the place to be: WalletHub   [ .... ]  Read More

Military Chopper Drops Ammo on Elementary School

The Free Press WVOfficials at nearby Fort Bliss are reassessing flight patterns   [ .... ]  Read More

Report: HHS to ‘Disentangle Taxpayers’ From Abortions

The Free Press WV Mandate would ban federally funded clinics from referrals, sharing space with abortion providers   [ .... ]  Read More

6 young squirrels rescued from ordeal of tangled tails

The Free Press WVSix young squirrels whose tails were stuck together by tree sap are recovering after a Nebraska wildlife expert untangled them [ .... ]  Read More

5 Fastest Growing, Shrinking Cities in U.S.

The Free Press WV From the Villages in Florida to Pine Bluff, Arkansas   [ .... ]  Read More

Teacher Accused of Drowning Animals in Class

The Free Press WVStudents watched as teacher allegedly lowered caged raccoon into water   [ .... ]  Read More

Video: Barista Refuses to Serve ‘Racist’ Customer

He was insulting a Muslim woman   [ .... ]  Read More

Laurel, Yanny or ... covfefe? White House joins in on debate

The Free Press WV The White House is joining in on the viral debate over whether people hear the names “Laurel” or “Yanny” in a much-shared audio clip [ .... ]  Read More

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

The Free Press WV A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media [ .... ]  Read More

Trump mining pollution rule change challenged

The Free Press WVEnvironmental groups challenged the Trump administration in federal court Wednesday over its rejection of an Obama-era proposal that would have required mining companies to prove they have enough money to clean up their pollution [ .... ]  Read More

Bill Gates gives $44M to influence state education plans

The Free Press WVBillionaire philanthropist Bill Gates saw an opportunity with a new federal education law that has widespread repercussions for American classrooms [ .... ]  Read More

Study: Despite modest income, teachers pay for class needs

The Free Press WVEvery year Anna Graven dips into her modest teacher salary and spends her own money to buy bulletin boards, pencils, paper, highlighters and tissues for her high school students in Oklahoma City. So do almost all of her colleagues across the nation [ .... ]  Read More

Senate Democrats push to reinstate ‘net neutrality’ rules

The Free Press WV Don’t expect the House to go along with the Senate’s expected passage of legislation that would revive an Obama-era rule requiring equal treatment for all web traffic by internet providers [ .... ]  Read More

Audit: EPA could do more to catch VW-type emissions fraud

The Free Press WV Federal regulators have stepped up the kind of testing that could have caught years of emissions-rigging by Volkswagen, but need to do more to keep automakers from duping them again on pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general said [ .... ]  Read More

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Reader's Comments

Readers' Recent Comments

Good to see this program return after having it gone missing under the state appointed superintendent.

It was reported there was no place for it to take place.

Thank you Gilmer County Board of Education for making it happen.

By Some remember on 05.21.2018

From the entry: 'FREE breakfast and lunch this summer for Gilmer County Kids'.

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Pam,
Sorry to read of your mom’s passing. I remember may times spent in your home with your parents and brothers. Sending love and prayers to you and your brothers.
Sherry Broggi

By Sherry Straley Broggi and Rita Straley on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'Lora Faye Tomblin'.

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Really cool project to all who volunteered and those helping financially as well!

Where’s DR? He never misses these events?

By Very nice project - great volunteers! on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'CommunityImprovement™: Pavilion'.

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The GSC retention post must relate to those beginning in 2014 who planned for 4 year degrees and they dropped out. There probably were students who began in 2014 and they earned 2 year degrees before 2018 so they were not drop outs.

By GSC RETENTION? on 05.15.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Congratulations kids!  Setting up a scholarship fund is a GREAT idea! Where can we get information on who to contact and what local needs are?

By Reader on 05.14.2018

From the entry: 'Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Celebrates Seniors'.

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How large was GSC’s graduating class of 2018 last week and what was its original size the fall of 2014?

Accurate information should be available to indicate retention. One news source reported that 100 graduated in the class of 2018.

By Alumni on 05.13.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Some interesting results.  Should shake the trees a little.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.09.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Local Election Results - May 2018'.

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So sorry for your loss.  Prayers.

By Betty Woofter on 05.07.2018

From the entry: 'Ina Mae (Foster) Clem'.

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Anyone interested in facts for graduation rates after four years of college can access information on WV’s Education Policy Commission web site.

The last time information was reported WV State was listed at 13.6% compared to WVU’s at 35.9%. GSC was at 25.1%.

Comments submitted so far flag a serious problem in WV. Student achievement information is scattered all over with it being reported by the State, the federal government, and testing organizations including ACT.

Because WV lacks an effective State clearing house to sort through the information and to interpret it for practical application in improving our pubic school systems, too much important quality control material is neglected.

When citizens take initiative to obtain the information and they cite it they are often berated to be a form of “attack the messenger”.

Then too there are the perennial apologists who say that everything is “just fine” to help confuse the issue even more to detract from school improvements.

By WVDE Career Employees on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Too often students have to go an extra year or longer to graduate from college with under graduate degrees because they were not prepared when they got there to enable them to complete on time.

The 35% graduation rate includes incoming freshmen who do not finish in four years, and it is factual that some of our public colleges have worse records than others.

WVU does above average, but it has large numbers of-out-of state better prepared students.

By R. Page on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Rex Page claims we have a college graduation rate of approximately 35%.

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

Think of how many dollars are wasted, and how many students are burdened with student loans, that basically will do them little good in life.

Oh yes.  It does pump money into the flawed system.

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system ! on 05.05.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Even with enrolling in colleges where acceptance is noncompetitive, meaning that all applicants with at least C averages are accepted, the graduation rate to get a degree is around 35%.

This fact is more evidence for WV’s failed public education system and solid proof that a major top to bottom over haul is needed.

If we accept the often cited excuse that there is a problem with kids and their families to cause under achievement in school that line of reasoning suggests that West Virginians are inherently flawed. This is untrue and the problem lies with WV’s under performing education system.

By Rex Page on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Disgraceful that WV lacks a top quality education system to prepare more high school graduates to be eligible for acceptance into the best colleges where there is competition for acceptance.

The deficiency forces students to attend lower tier places where everyone is accepted.

Why does WV fail to make improvements? It is because education delivery in our State is designed to be void of meaningful accountability for administrators.

By WVDE Watcher on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Little doubt the block schedule system at the high school gives GC lower scores.

This has been proven over and over in other school systems.

Its an out dated and antiquated system.  Our board of education needs to get rid of it.

Gilmer County Board of Education….are you up to the job?

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Hopefully this is the beginning of doing better with getting out school news to Gilmer. It is far better to read timely news than to have to go to the Cornerstone to get it.

We wish Mr. Shuff the best in improving learning results at the HS. If he tackles problems like he engaged in athletics the HS will be put on the map for academic excellence.

When he gets his school improvement plan together everyone in the County will pitch in to help him succeed. Thank you GCBOE.

By Pleased Parents on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

America’s entire education system is a farce.
Education administrators worry about their job than worry about the children.

Youth is our future.
By creating dummies, do not expect much of a future.

The children are being short changed, robbed.
America is being short changed, robbed.

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Is this article some sort of a joke ?
Certainly would seem so!

We are almost daily bombarded with chemical spraying from above.
We rarely actually have that clear, deep blue sky that God gave us.

If it happens we do get a clear(?) day, we will have the light blue, almost whispy white cloud sky.

Set a white bowl out in the rains.  Check to see what color the water is after a rain.  You will be
surprised.  Color will vary depending what is being sprayed on a given day.

If it were winter, I’d tell you to look at the snowflakes.  No more are all snowflakes different.  Watch what falls on your clothing, you will see 1,000’s of flakes all the same shape.  Again, depends what toxic material we are being blasted with.

Asthma attacks, ER visits are on the rise.
Do some web searching, plenty of websites report this travesty.  You tax dollars at ‘work’.

By WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ? ? on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04'.

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Fraud is not only rampant in education, it consumes Gilmer County..  Those who Have want to keep it any and all costs, and those that don’t, want.  Gilmer needs a good house cleaning of court and legal ‘authorities’ as well if anything is Ever going to change.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Fraud is committed in Gilmer County when citizens are told that our high school grads are prepared to be highly competitive for entry into the modern world.

The misinformation conflicts with verification that our grads lag when it comes to being college and career ready.

By being disadvantaged academically too many students drop out of college when they cannot compete and they often must go an extra year at a greater expense to catch-up.

There is another type of fraud not pointed out in the posting. It relates to bragging about the “fine” ACT test scores made by students at the GCHS.

For the ACT the average GCHS score as touted by school officials is close to 20. This may be slightly higher than average State scores, but here is the rub.

Our kids could not get accepted into top quality colleges and universities with stringent academic requirements to include those for ACT scores higher than most made at the GCHS.

What do they do? They attend institutions with relaxed acceptance criteria with some not having any basic requirements for ACT or SAT scores.

As a parent with a son at the Career Center I know that there must be remedial instruction in math and English for success in chosen career fields. It is called embedded instruction.

Because teachers must be hired at the Center for the catch-up it means that tax payers are paying twice (more fraud) for instruction that should have been done at the GCHS!

What can we do? Gilmer County must determine what must be done in our schools to make necessary improvements for the better to enable our kids to be the best they can be after HS. Simple isn’t it?

By We Want Better Schools on 04.30.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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It is easy to see through the motive for avoiding application of the same assessment approach in all of WV’s school systems.

The powerful in control do not want to make achievement results available for voters to compare academic results among districts!

That way opportunities for more accountability in ways school systems are administered will be nipped in the bud.

Interesting isn’t it that for sports minute attention is paid to comparing performances of all kinds of teams throughout WV.

Unfortunately the strategy will be to keep voters keenly focused on sports so they will not ask questions about education spending and how children are doing in mastering subjects in our school systems.

By WVDOE Disgusted on 04.20.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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The West Virginia State Board of Education has operated as a “pin the tail on the donkey” bureaucratic nightmare for over a generation.

Currently, it is hard to envision any positive change in their SOP?

Try this, try that.  Change this, change that.
Continual evidence that all is being run as an experiment?
The WVBOE has no real clue what to actually do, in order to fix anything.

Money wasted. Children cheated of a good education.
Parents and taxpayers cheated.  Opportunities missed.

This is the WVBOE legacy.

By State BOE - dysfunctional is an understatement? on 04.16.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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Maybe Jimmy can pay some of his tax bills now?

By Justice, pay your tax bills! on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'City to purchase club owned by the governor’s company'.

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Reread the article and see what a wonderful set of excuses have been set forward.

Taxpayers give the state the funds for education.  It is then properly squandered leaving students with substandard educations.

These people have the audacity to blame the teachers on top of it.

State BOE, suck it up, fix the problem you and your previous board members have created. 

Make President Truman’s desk saying your motto:  “The buck stops here.“

That is, if you are up to it.

By Kanawha Reader on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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West Virginia made national news again with its spending per student to be in the top third among the 55 states.

We spend more than $11,000 on average per pupil in our public schools. For comparison Utah spends about $6,500 per pupil and it ranks in the top third for the quality of its education system.

It would be interesting to know how much Gilmer County spends per pupil counting total funding from all sources.

WV is certainly no way near the top third with getting students college, career, and jobs ready right out of high school. Where is all our money going? What could we learn from rural states similar to Utah?

The worst culprit seems to be too many high paid people on WV payrolls who are non-contributers to making better lives for our kids.

By Economist on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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Those of us who keep close tabs on student achievement want to know reasons for unacceptable reading, science, and math scores in Gilmer County and what is being done to correct them. For something this important the problems and solutions surely have been looked into.

By R. A. Beasley on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

By Don't bring them to Gilmer! on 04.13.2018

From the entry: 'NEW “ALMOST HEAVEN” CAMPAIGN'.

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No matter what is going on in the State our concern is Gilmer County. The State reports on Zoom that 10th graders at the GCHS perform at the 35.9% proficiency rate for science.

Proficiency for 11th graders is 37% in math and it is commendable that the rate for them for reading is 64%.

What is being done to make improvements for science and math when students are about ready to graduate from HS? We hope that scores for reading hold up and even improve.

Why do we fail to receive updates for plans for proficiency improvements in the County’s schools?

In other WV counties superintendents provide that type of information on a routine basis.

By GCHS Parents on 04.12.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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This well written article makes is clear what actually a businessman can do.

Businessman turned politician.  Can actually make an entire state look like idiots.  Idiots for electing him at the minimum.

Looks like we have to find the patience to tolerate this bs two more years…...and hope he turns into a one term disaster.

Congratulations to the WV state employees giving him a good lesson. Nice job folks.

By Makin Arch Look Good on 04.09.2018

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: A 'billionaire' should be embarrassed to let schools, local governments, vendor bills'.

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Why is important school system improvement news of the type addressed in the other comment not on the County’s school system’s web site?

Someone in the board office should be assigned to write up news to keep citizens informed.

We are expected to vote in more tax money to run the schools and we deserve to be informed of positive improvements being made with our money instead of taking our support for granted. It works both ways.

By R. Curry on 04.06.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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This is a suggestion for getting breaking news out to the community concerning important new improvements in the County’s school system.

We hear that improvements are being made to increase student performances in mathematics, reading, and other areas. The changes include getting back to basics for math teaching to eliminate achievement gaps.

Would someone write up something to explain the new changes to keep the community informed? One improvement I know is that progress reports come home regularly so families can track how kids are doing.

There is nothing wrong with positive news getting out to demonstrate that Gilmer County is positioning itself to become a leader in public education. The County deserves all the positive press it can get.

By Appreciative Parent on 04.05.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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The Governors and the elected Legislators made the time ripe for the “educators revolt”.

The past 20 years, state employees, all who work outside the ‘capitol complex’ have been dissed.

Put off.  Put down.  Worked around.
That was clearly understood by our state employees.

That dissention was completely ignored by our failed state leadership.

Clearly it was time for action.  Social media was a major player….for the good.

The Governor, the Legislators, have now been put on notice to not ignore state issues, while they feather their own nests.

Now, lets see social media swing into action,  straighten out the Public Service Commission, and their gross failure to hold Frontier Communications lack of customer service to the fore. Some leader needs to step forward and make it happen.

We see what can happen with some leadership.  Social media is the citizens friend.  The election is just a few weeks away.  Its time to build a fire under the Public Service Commission.  Governor Justice you might even give it a shot to fire them…...up?

By J.P. on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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We want the County to become WV’s star performer known throughout the State for producing the highest achievement students.

How can this be done? Simple. Establish goals for math, science, and other subjects and aggressively manage the school system accordingly.

This will require establishment of a clearly written, professionally done holistic plan containing specific goals to achieve, establishment of personal accountability at different levels in the school system, accurate and timely reporting of achievement results as we proceed, and applying improved approaches when necessary to keep the plan on track.

We have heard for too long that everything is “just fine” in the County, and we continue to hear it today from some quarters.

Folks, things are not ‘just fine’ when too many of our students leave high school unprepared for college and careers. Where we go from here is the primary responsibility of the elected school board.

Teachers and staffs are more than ready to deal with obstacles confronting them and all they need is to be enabled to do their jobs.

The time is over for continuing to be hampered with lame excuses for why major improvements cannot be made i.e., Gilmer County is too poor, too many kids lack family support they deserve, and keen focus on public education is foreign to the community’s culture.

By Gilmer County Teacher on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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Public Service Commission is a joke.  Sorry.

They are the regulatory agency that is basically letting FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS run unregulated for all landline customers.

Frontier customers wait days and days for landline service.  Many in our state live where there is no cell coverage, so no other choice for service.

Our elected reps need to pressure the Public Service Commission to get their chit together, do their job, and stop giving in to the Frontier lobby crew.

West Virginians deserve better!

By West Virginia resident on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'PSC and GHSP Join Forces to Emphasize Seat Belt Safety Message'.

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Nice information. I think CANADA is also a very good place to live.

By Rahul on 03.22.2018

From the entry: 'The 10 Best Cities to Live In on Planet Earth'.

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I am so sorry and shocked to learn of Mike’s passing.  I think he would have liked he words printed here about him. Always a good man with a smile on his face and it didn’t take much to tickle him. West Virginia lost another good one. RIP Mike.

By Marlea Cottrill on 03.19.2018

From the entry: 'John Michael “Mike” Peters'.

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Yes, it would appear that Gayle M. has lost some of her ‘luster’ ?

The question now.  Will she pop back up somewhere else like that Whack-a-Mole game?

By Charleston Reader on 03.18.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brian and Montie send their condolences to Gary’s family, especially to Nancy and Sharon for the death of a husband and father.  Nothing can really prepare us for such a loss as this. We are thinking about you at this sad time.

By Brian and Montie VanNostrand on 03.17.2018

From the entry: 'Gary Don Williams'.

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The centerpiece of nationally reported fake news pertained to Gayle Manchin’s plan for making WV’s southern coal field area a model for school system turn-a-rounds.

After the intense trail of high profile TV appearances to tout Manchin’s plan and pouring in money down there, nothing worked out as promised. 

The lesson from this sad saga is to focus on facts instead of what politicians try to pull over on voters.

The chronic problem in WV is that facts are routinely hidden by some politicians to keep voters misinformed.

By Bill Williams on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Gilmer County has long memories. We recall the hill crest fund raiser out along Mineral Road to raise money for the Manchin political machine.

That was followed by Gayle’s insulting rant against the County leading to the damage of our school system and outlying communities during the State’s six years of iron rule intervention.

The good news is that Gayle is gone along with all other members of the WV State Board of Education responsible for our County’s intervention and the waste and mismanagement it wrought. Karma is alive and well WV!

By B. Jones on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brad got it all mixed up.
Gayle Manchin’s *resignation*....?

T-V, radio, newspapers across the state and beyond, even national news sources, all reported
that Governor Justice FIRED Gayle Manchin.

Brad, your effort to smooth that puts you squarely in concert with the rest of the BS fake news world.

By Brad got it mixed on 03.15.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Interesting.  Yet not so long ago, Gilmer local police weren’t interested when informed an out of state convicted felon was in possession of a trunk full of stolen guns.

By BangBang on 02.14.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County man sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm'.

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Great guy, who would do anything to help you. He would have probably got a kick out of having some strange woman’s face plaistered on his obituary. He would have had something smart to say about it I’m sure. smile

He had a great sense of humor. I saw him a little while back. I stopped by his house and visited with him a couple hours and as I went in I told him I stopped by to see if I could borrow his fancy car parked out front, expecting to meet with some resistance to that idea. Without missing a beat he said “Sure, just don’t let any of my kids drive it!“ We had a really nice visit that day - talking about cars and reminscing.

Our prayers are with the family.

By Connie Turner on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Justice, do you lay awake at night thinking up this stuff?

Can’t we West Virginian’s have some woodland that has not been molested by humans?

Keep the saws out of our state forests!

West Virginians are being raped once again.  The new generation of robber barons have bought off the governor and elected.

By Another Clueless Politician's Scheme on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Former Administrator: State Park Logging Plan Numbers Don’t Add Up'.

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so sorry to hear this news.  He took over Steve Grossmann’s mail route and we sure did appreciate his getting the mail delivered in all kinds of weather.  Slipping and sliding all the way. I loved his little dog that would look for snakes in the Normantown P.O.

By Cookie Setty on 02.09.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Would it be possible for our new college president to involve Mr. Gallagher and student Evan Merical to attempt a revival of the defunct GSC Main Street Small Business Center? 

The community sure could benefit from it.  New management might just be what it needs?

By Question for Pres. Pellett on 02.07.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Student Speaks at One Stop Business Center Grand Opening'.

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Not surprised the Board of Ed supporting employees for raises and insurance. These people show they care about good employees over and over.
Just after they got our school system out from under state control they stood unanimously against the state appointed superintendent and his hand picked lawyer who tried to take away jobs from 8 professionals including Teachers and 4 service personnel. Can’t even count the number of transfers.  Gilmer’s Board of Ed just said no to that hit list. They stand up for this county and the kids..

By And we Appreciate It on 02.02.2018

From the entry: 'ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE GILMER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM'.

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The state of WV overall has a dismal record of salaries and finance.

The jail system has issues.  Has for years.
The highway department.  Yup, them too.
The school system.  Ditto.

One per cent per year for 5 years?  That’s a real insult to any employee.

Teachers.  If you don’t get something that’s good, wait until warmer weather and strike.  Stand your ground !

The legislature and governor seem to have plenty $$$ to spread around Kanawha County.  Make sure they spread some towards teachers and staff salaries!!

By Give 'em some $$$ ! on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE GILMER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM'.

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Rumor mill is saying that teachers and possibly other state employees will have to wear a wrist bracelet to track their lifestyles? 

Or pay higher insurance premiums?

True/false?

By is it true? on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Sorry to hear. He was a classmate at Sutton High School class of 1956.

By Nancy Rose Westfall on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Franklin D. “Frank” Conley'.

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A call to all candidates for all seats:  You can submit the information about yourself to us and it will be published at NO COST.

By Free Press on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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Long list of candidates for the School Board. It would help voters decide if each candidate would publish a write-up of their personal backgrounds to include special qualifications for serving on the school board, and to include detailed goals for what they would like to achieve as a board member. The information would be far more useful to voters than signs plastered all over the County.

By Active Voter on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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How about the new superintendent of Gilmer’s schools giving a progress report on her accomplishments so far in improving the quality of our schools to produce better prepared HS graduates for college and careers, plans for continual upgrading of academic achievements by our students, and how results will be accurately measured and reported to be convincing that our County is moving ahead? Doesn’t sound too much to ask for by bill paying citizens.

By Gilmer Parents For Accountability on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Gilmer County must set its own standards for student learning and to do what is necessary to achieve them with full involvement of highly motivated teachers.

We know that major improvements are needed to make our kids more competitive, but we have not heard details for what is planned in our school system to make critically needed changes.

Ignore what the State does with is long history of failure and let’s go ahead on our own.

Top down management in education has never worked in WV with its crippling grip of politics to emphasize the importance of making improvements through local initiatives.

By Glenville Teachers on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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This is just another failure by the West Virginia State Board of Education!

It does NOTHING to improve education!

Just one more attempt to make everything “look nice”.

The State Board members are too far removed from the classroom.

That board needs populated with 4 or 5 of our better teachers who are not afraid to speak up.

By Troy Parent on 01.28.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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The question for the County’s sitting School Board is what is being done with corrective actions to get the County’s HS graduates out of the worst prepared bottom group for college and career preparedness as the State has reported?

Because more students graduate it does not mean that they mastered key subjects to promote success in the modern work place. Can anyone say grade inflation?

By B. Beckett on 01.26.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Reduce requirements.
Lower teacher standards.

Produce less educated students.
Continue WV’s downward education spiral.

The current State Board of Education is less prepared to lead than back in the Gayle Manchin
days of failure.

Do not fool yourselves. Realize Paine is pain.
Do not expect WV educational leaders to improve education.

They have been showing us for years that goal is
out of their reach.

By Failed State BOE on 01.18.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Does anyone know the County’s plan for getting us out of the State’s bottom group for college and trades ready after high school?

What are the causes for our being at the bottom for being ready and what is being done to solve them?

Causes never cease by themselves and the only solution is top quality leadership pushing a highly focused corrective program.

By Rusty Moore on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Example of a yes/but situation. Just because kids are pushed through does not mean that they are college and career ready. Read past comments about Gilmer’s being in the failing category for academic preparation. The way WV info is reported allows selective use of results to bloat up claims of how well a high school does in preparing students for the real world.

By R. Wells on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'WEST VIRGINIA HIGH SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED FOR EXEMPLARY GRADUATION RATES'.

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Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail had a warning that just because a high school has a high graduation rate that does not mean that its students are college ready. Gilmer County is one of them to put us in the State’s bottom category for readiness, but you won’t hear about it locally. Kids call it dumbing down.

By Give Citizens The Facts on 01.14.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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What about all the septic in the hollers that is draining into the creeks??

By Ugly on 01.10.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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This point should be kept in mind i.e. “The Commission has directed all privately owned electric, gas, water, sewer and solid waste facilities to track the tax savings resulting from the 2017 Federal Tax Act on a monthly basis beginning January 01, 2018. “.

By Michell J. Hill on 01.07.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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Troyan advocates for competition among schools with survival of the top performers. Her point is that the lack of accountability for county school system administrators must change to be similar to the way corporate America functions. Failure must have consequences!

By Accountabilty Needed on 01.03.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Gilmer singled out again in article by Jessi Troyan for our being at the bottom for preparing high school grads for college. We know we have a serious problem. We await on top school system leadership to devise a workable remedial plan for the County. Denial of having problems cannot be used anymore to cover up

By B. Post on 01.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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You were in my life for what seemed like a short time but will be in my heart forever. I’ll see you at the family reunion one day again.

By Dana Linger on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Kathern Fay (Cogar) Linger'.

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Concerns about urgent need to upgrade student learning have persisted for too long in the County. 

We are tired of hearing lame excuses that under-achievement is caused by uncaring parents who do not emphasize the importance of education.

Parents are keenly important for contributing to student learning, but they cannot compensate for school “culture” deficiencies linked to leadership short comings.

By Parents For Better Leadership on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Those who go to college perform down at the bottom in comparison to high school graduates in other WV counties. This evidence suggests that Gilmer’s students who don’t go to college are short changed too. Immediate leadership changes to straighten out under achievement are in order!

By E. Moore on 12.28.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Jeanette,
I am so sorry for your loss.

By Margie Shook on 12.18.2017

From the entry: 'Warren Curtis Pierce'.

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The whole child concept is admirable, but with GCHS grads being behind in proficiency for academic subjects we need to make changes to drastically improve learning to enable our kids to compete in the highly competitive modern world.

Our being the 52nd worse off among 55 WV counties for college remediation rates is undeniable proof.

Administrators must determine legitimate causes of our bottom ranking for use in improving learning instead of applying usual low payoff tinkering to be passed off as progress.

By B. K. Brooks on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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That’s the #### dems new ploy, they can’t win on policy so they charge sexual harassment.

By The Silent Majority on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ? on 12.14.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Wanna bet that in green counties when results sag there is no hesitancy to make administrative changes when needed? In Gilmer County the approach has been to hide facts and to manufacture rosy ones to report to citizens.

By Moore on 12.11.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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This is basically the process for an improvement plan. A school board specifies student achievement standards and it assigns a superintendent to work with central office staff and school administrators to produce a comprehensive plan for making needed changes. After putting a plan in place results are closely monitored by a school board while holding a superintendent personally accountable for achieving the standards.

By School Board Member In A Top Performing County on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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Did I miss the County Commission Agenda for the December meeting?  The GFP site is displaying a little differently and I can’t seem to find it.  Do they still meet on First and Third Fridays??

By Searching on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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The no excuse rate for Gilmer County is 59% and there are only three other WV counties worse off. This alarming information flags dire need for the County’s school board to do its job by implementing an improvement plan.

By Gilmer Students Ripped Off on 12.08.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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“We’re going to see a sea change in American agriculture as the next generation gets on the land,“

Yeah, right.  That will last about as long as it takes to discover exactly how hard farming is, and the amount of work it takes to make even a minimal living.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 11.30.2017

From the entry: 'A Growing Number Of Young Americans Are Leaving Desk Jobs To Farm'.

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