* Improve vocational opportunities.
* Let counties tailor calendars to their areas' needs.
* Require all counties to offer full-day preschool for 4-year-olds. That would help many families give their children a good start. (It would also significantly enhance job security in counties with falling enrollment.)
Judy Hale, president of the West Virginia Federation of Teachers, called the governor's bill "the ugliest bill I've seen in 30 years." Dale Lee of the West Virginia Education Association lamented "more punitive actions aimed at teachers."
This is not true. Nobody blames teachers for ineffective schools. They are prisoners of the system also.
Teachers unions, working through the Legislature, have essentially written public school policy for the same 30 years that Kessler used as his frame of reference. Those policies simply have not worked.
Of course change is scary. But scarier than failing thousands of students and driving teachers crazy?
Not even close.
Failure to insist on change is the most dangerous thing senators and delegates could do at this point.