Teachers are burdened with paperwork, while living with the constant threat that tough grading or disciplining of students will be met by angry, defensive parents.
Everyone knows there are problems, but they tend to speak in hushed tones because the status quo always has its zealous defenders in powerful positions.
We know that the governor's office, as well as the state Board of Education and key legislative leaders, have studied the audit of the school system that was released nearly a year ago.
The unvarnished report detailed ways to save millions of dollars while also improving outcomes.
The state school board purposely waited until after the election to release its response. It did so Wednesday, and the response calls for action, not just more study.
Now Tomblin, if he's bold, can do what he does best, work behind the scenes with legislative leaders and constituent groups to build a case for substantive reform, then sell it to the public, starting with his State of the State address.
These kinds of opportunities don't come along often.
Earl Ray Tomblin was re-elected, at least in part, because voters believe he is the best person to lead the state.
The public education issue is a perfect opportunity for Tomblin to demonstrate that voters got it right.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.