CommunityConcerns™: Gilmer County High School’s 2013 Third Tier OEPA Rating
West Virginia’s Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) published its 2013 Report of School Ratings (www.oepa.wv.us) including those for Gilmer County’s five public schools.
The ratings in a decreasing order of desirability are:
• EA=Exemplary Accreditation
• DA=Distinction Accreditation
• FA=Full Accreditation
Among our schools the Normantown Grade School received the highest rating with a DA.
The other four schools including the high school received a third tier FA rating.
The high school’s diminished rating is alarming.
In any other WV County there would have been bold print newspaper headlines to address the suboptimum performance to cause citizens to demand corrective actions, but the news was not printed. Why?
Citizens deserve to know specific causes for the high school’s third tier rating.
Why was monitoring not done by the State to prevent the third tier rating, and most importantly what are the specific actions planned to elevate the rating to the EA category?
Governor Tomblin, Dr. Linger, Dr. Phares, Dr. Gus Penix, and Delegates Boggs and Walker, all of you were informed of our high school’s problems so what will it require to receive your corrective involvement?
Our School Board is powerless to act with its authority stripped by the State to emphasize the utmost necessity for your help.
This community concern deserves top priority attention in Gilmer County.
Gilmer County Economic Development (GCEDA), Glenville State College (GSC), those who caused the takeover (CUBIES), Gilmer Schools Coalition (G.S.C.), parents, teachers, and all other interested citizens, we have an urgent and immediate need to unite to achieve performance improvements at our high school.
Please attend future Board meetings to show community support for changes.
High praise is extended to Normantown Grade School’s students, principal Chambers, and its admirable teachers and staff for earning a DA rating.
With consolidated grade schools pending, proactive initiatives must occur to ensure that they are EA performers.
Because the Gilmer High School will not be replaced by consolidation, the community must demand whatever may be required, including a change of administration if necessary, to elevate its rating to an EA level. Anything lower than top performance will be unacceptable to prevent our high school students from continuing to be victimized.
Kudos to the GFP and Mr. Dave Ramezan for providing this important information to Gilmer County’s citizens.
~~ Author on File ~~
Does anyone find it troubling that we have a State college with a highly touted teacher education program, but the institution has not played a positive role in establishing a top rated high school in the County? Isn’t it doubly troubling that Gilmer County is the only intervention County in the State with a State College with a teacher education program? Dr. Barr and Board of Governors how do you explain GSC’s failure to contribute to the quality of our County’s school system? If anyone up there, particularly Dr. Peter Barr, wants to be viewed as part of the solution instead of part of the problem how about coming to Board meetings to verify a commitment to be a partner in the challenging task of establishing a top quality K-12 school system in the County?
Comment by Hes Jackson on 04.08.2013
Who do the county’s without a college blame it on? I find it more troubling that the State of Education is not taking responsibility for their failing policies and lack of adequate oversight. It is even more troubling to note that in January 2011 Sand Fork elementary was listed DA and is now FA. No on site visit documented since 2011 so the decline must be due to testing?
Comment by Very Troubled on 04.08.2013
Don’t expect to see involvement from GCEDA, CUBIES, or GSC reps. The majority of citizens familiar with the history of the State’s take over of our schools believe that what needs to be done is to replace the high school’s administration. People associated with the groups listed above are believed to have demanded the State’s takeover and installation of Ron Blankenship mainly to protect the principal. If anyone has courage to speak out on behalf of what most citizens think needs to be done it most likely will be Mrs. Hurley after she polls the Coalition’s membership. If nothing is done to get the high school straightened out quickly we can expect more of the same for years to come. Translation—no changes possible until the present principal decides to retire. How many think that Terry and Tim Butcher would permit Dr. Peter Barr to get the College involved if the immediate need is administrative changes at the high school? Conflicts of interest as usual in Gil?
Comment by P. J. Moss on 04.08.2013
If the problems with the educational system are to be rectified, its a lengthy list of behavioral modifications, and leadership/administrative replacements, and school staff coming together and speaking in unison, that will have to happen first.
The problems are known, they simply need to be forced to the surface by those intimately involved on a day to day basis, with the issues.
It is also obvious to anyone watching that the State BOE needs to butt out of the local school issues. Our schools are now deteriorating under their lack of leadership and poor administration procedures. The State BOE is causing far more problems than there are solving.
Comment by time for Tomblin to intervene on 04.08.2013
P.J. Moss you’re more right than most know. GSC isn’t coming and since they handle GCEDA they won’t be charging to our rescue either. Betsy Barr ran to Charleston with the CUBIES along with some employees from our local board office because they feared history might repeat itself. Didn’t really have much to worry about from what we see and hear on those videos did they?
Comment by S Amos on 04.08.2013
Consolidation of schools has never improved them. At one time, Troy was a Blue Ribbon school. With all the controversy on the new school, is it any wonder the achievement has dropped there? Parents need to realize that their children are being robbed of a decent education by a state bureaucracy that is trying to survive – all the money paid to bureaucrats and state board members should be paying for teachers and instructional materials for students. Doing what has never worked, over and over, is a sign of stagnation, not progress.
Comment by Karen Pennebaker on 04.08.2013
We are hearing/reading lots of comments about the schools. I only see two names of people standing up and standing out for our children.
Thank you Phyllis Starkey and Norma Hurley.
To everyone else: Cat got your tongue?
Comment by we see, we know, we remember on 04.08.2013
P.J.M. – – – The problems that are pulling Gilmer County schools down, are of a far greater magnitude than anyone has hereto for stated. It is systemic breakdown of the education control system in Charleston, right on down to system of management oft referred to as “micromanagement” in Gilmer County. It is all about those who are in control, having nary a dang clue as to what they are about. It is just a matter of those few feeding their own bloated, all consuming egos.
This fruit has been growing now for 25 years in this community, the fruit has past its ripeness and now is finally rotting. That is what everyone is finally beginning to smell. Lots more fruit to rot.
And the children suffer because of it all. The system has created its own victims.
Comment by – – get used to it on 04.08.2013
Definition of ~insanity~: Repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
This exactly fits the state education mindset.?Think intervention and the schools loose ground every time.
Don’t expect any help from Gov. Tomblin either. He has now “done his part” to appease his voter block. Nothing more. Nothing will change. Ditto the rest of the elected.
Comment by anonymous on 04.08.2013