The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

February 6, 2014

Education

Over the past year, it has been at times difficult to get a handle on just where the state of West Virginia ranks when it comes to education.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation in its annual Kids Count put the state near the bottom of the rest of the country at No. 47.

But Education Week, in its annual Quality Counts report, ranked public education in West Virginia ninth-best in the nation.

Using different criteria would account for such a big difference, and that is no doubt the case here.

One thing we do know is that schools in the state are getting better. We’ve talked in the past about how the state has improved its truancy rate and, while there’s more to be done, we think that’s a positive trend that teachers, administrators, school boards and parents and kids themselves should get the credit they deserve.

Often those from outside the state are quick to point out the faults we have in West Virginia: a persistently poor and undiversified economy and an epidemic of drug abuse.

To deal with these problems, we first have to confront them. And we try to do that in a constructive way.

But it’s just as important to note our successes, and the progress we are making in West Virginia.

So today, we salute Abby Stimson, an eighth-grade student at Victory Baptist Academy, and Katie Mills, a sixth-grader representing the Raleigh Educational Association of Christian Homeschoolers. The two spellers were named co-champions in the Raleigh County Middle School Spelling Bee.

For the first time in history, two spellers were named co-champions in the bee after bee officials used up all the words in the hardest category.

The two spelled and spelled until bee officials just called it a tie.

Are these champions the exception in West Virginia? Perhaps the sacrifices they have made, the hours of drilling on proper spelling, does make them exceptional compared to most of their peers.

But the fact that they can thrive in public schools in southern West Virginia makes us think other students can, too.

What makes them work so hard? Involved parents for one, and good teachers, too.

There are more factors involved than just funding. A desire to learn, a thirst for knowledge and the satisfaction of knowing their accomplishments are both important and rewarded.

Raleigh County’s excess levy and bond call are on the ballot Saturday. Let’s make sure we as voters stand up for these kids whose commitment and sacrifice were there for all to see at the Spelling Bee.

We think they, and their classmates, deserve a yes vote.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014

  • Generous

    Outsiders can say what they will about West Virginians — but they can’t say we’re stingy.
    Time after time after time, we band together to help our neighbors out of a jam, aid someone down on their luck or otherwise in a bad way.

    July 15, 2014

  • Reminder

    Study points out old, new problems with W.Va. roads

    July 13, 2014