Educational achievement in West Virginia is nowhere near what teachers, parents, or leaders expect or to which we should aspire. According to an information sheet from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, three out of four West Virginia eighth graders are not proficient in math. Eighth-grade reading proficiency ranks 45th nationally. Over 72 percent of our elementary schools “do not” or “only partially meet” math standards. Over 95 percent of our middle schools “do not” or “only partially meet” language arts standards. Ninety-nine percent of our high schools “do not” or “only partially meet” the standard in math.

In all the discussions about educational reform, we rarely talk about the mental well-being of the children. We conceive education

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