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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
October 28, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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October 28, 2004

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Thursday,Oct. 28, 2004 -- The Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder --- Page 5A t over by the state for administrative dents, have received numerous fed- inefficiency, financial bankruptcy and eraJ academic awards and high recog- scholastic ineffectiveness. But, nitions for scholastic attainments, in- Gilmer County is supposed to be cluding being named as "Blue Ribbon "worse" than McDowell County, ac- Schools." cording to HEPC? Now, it just doesn't make common Switching to our central West Vir- sense that our smart elementary kids ginia neighbors, "HEPC" contends go on to become dumb ones in the that "61 percent" of Braxton County high school and, then, need to be High's graduates need remediation in rehabilitated in our state colleges! our state colleges and "59 percent" of Having lived in West Virginia's Calhoun High's. So, like Gilmer, these coalfields, and experiencing my own stats show those two counties' gradu- children going to those schools, I can ares as being as stupid as ours. personally affirm that Gilmer County On the opposite side, however, con- High School is one of the finest sec- sider our region's smart kids, those ondary institutions in the state. In graduating from Lewis County High fact, almost every year, over half of where only "52 percent" need to be the graduates receive scholarships to spoonfed in special bone-heM "de- college. These are not dumb kids! velopmental" classes in math and Most germanely, only those students English; "29 percent" of Doddridge with B averages can qualify for the Countians needing it; "41 percent" of state's PROMISE Scholarship, and Ritchie Countians, ditto; and "45 per- GCHS has had more than its fair share cent" of Roane Countians, ditto, of those. All of"these facts" are according to How firm are HEPC's statistics the gospel of the state's master statis- sounding now7 tician, Dr. Muddy-lan, who has al- Thirdly, Alan should look across ways been such a "good friend of the columns for some more interest- GSC" and our other state colleges, ing facts. GCHS seniors scored on the especially when it comes to making national ACT college entrance test an suggestions for"shutting them down." average of about 20 -- that's very Like for Alan, I know that Gilmer respectable. Mykids, who didn't need County's 85 percent alleged lack of the remedial classes, scored from 21 standard scholastic performance rate to 26, the later ACT figure meriting pleases the likes of Dr. Muddy-lan. one of mine an academic scholarship. If I-were Alan, I would have, at Farther across the same column, least, asked myself, "Do these fig- even though the purported "85 per- ures, particularly the out-of-line sta- cent" needed bone-head classes, they tistic for Gilmer County High, make still earned a 2.6 grade point average, sense? or C+ -- they weren't failing. Of the Well, they don't! Mountain State's 55 counties, the stu- All Gilmer County residents who dents from only 12 others achieved a have lived here for a while know that higher GPA than our Gilmer gradu- our young people get a'good, solid ates in college. Incidentally, Win education at the High School. In fact, High's students topped the GPA list at over a recent three-year period, itwas 2.92, beating out even the highly- the focus of a $1.5 million federal financed schools systems of Cabell After-School Hours grant, allowing and Kanawhacounties. They're smart the students to pick up additional sub- people over there in Win County, and jects, skills and related activities -- they have superior athletic teams, to all of which enriched their regular boot, not to mention war heroine, classroom instruction. Jessica Lynch! Moreover, all of the county's el- Ironically, only Win and Gilmer--- ementary schools, which feed the the two W. Va. counties with the Middle and High School with stu- smallest student populations -- were Are you satisfied with the direction the present Gilmer county Commis- sion President, Larry Chapman, is leading Gilmer County? Do you feel your tax money is being wisely used? During Commissioner Chapman's eighteen-year "watch," the popula- tion of Gilmer County has declined by 1,331 (one thousand three hundred thirty one) people. According to U.S. Census Bureau records, Gilmer County's population in 1986 (the first [year Mr. Chapman was elected) was 18,368 and in year 2003 the population was 7,037 for a loss of 16% (sixteen .percent). Mr. Chapman, who is ask- mg you to vote to return him to this office for six MORE years, has al- ready held this office for eighteen long years. Commissioner Chapman recently asked me if I would support Eco- nomic Development being brought under the County Commission. (This is what he plans to do if the GCEDA levy fails.) My answer to him was that III would support that ONLY if they Ihired a full-time County Administra- tor with additional duties to bring economic development to the corn- munity and then reduce the salaries of the County Commission members as a means of paying for a County Ad- ministrator position. Mr. Chapman S~d ~ he agreed with hiring a County "ummistrator but he could NOT sup- port COmmissioners taking a pay cut. If you are NOT SATISFIED with Commissioner Chapman and his self- serving ways, then you now have a chance to replace him by electing WRITE-IN CANDIDATE DARREN FEIT. DARREN FElT lives in Troy, was raised in Hanson County and graduated from Bridge- port High School. He has chosen to live in Gilmer County for the past ten years. He has a Civil Engineering degree from WV Institute of Technol- ogy and a Masters Degree in Business from West Virginia University. He has had a long career in industry, mainly in power plant work. He is an honorably discharged United States Navy veteran. DARREN has VOLUNTEERED COUNTLESS HOURS working to- ward efforts he believes will improve t i fe for Gilmer Countians. The present Gilmer County Commission mere- bers have honored his considerable volunteer contributions by naming him, in September, Gilmer County's Outstanding Community Service Volunteer of the Year. The process of voting for WRITE- IN CANDIDATE DARREN FEIT is pretty simple and straight-forward. On the ballot, under the Gilmer County Commission selection, a blank line is provided where you can use the pen- cil provided at the voting booth and "write in" the name of DARREN FEIT, or you can use one of his name stickers he is providing. Thank you, Jim James (Ad Paid for by Jim James) Support this fall our area's football teams by attending the games/ (304) goldmakersinc @ recently praised for meeting the fed- eral standards now being required in President George Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act." This new account- ability program aims to shrink the learning gap between disadvantaged kids and their more affluent peers. For.Alan, long a rabid Republican, this recent good designation for Gilmer's ehools should have jarred his bead a bit when seeing that above- noted "85 percent" figure. But, appar- ently, it didn't, an omission that fur- ther weakens Alan's fastly becoming off-the-wall contentions about our schools. Fourthly, Alan and other readers, flip back to how "private school" graduates perform in our public col- leges and universities. Take Charles- ton Catholic High School, it showed only a three percent rate of graduates needing remediation, but, next, con- sider Clarksburg's Catholic Notre Dame, at 67 percent. Does that make- sense? Why would one big Roman Catholic school have good teachers and the other, bad ones, etc.? Several of the Christian academies were found with "100 percent" of theircollege students getting academic rehab. But, at one of them, New Life Christian Academy of Nicholas County, only one graduate went to college. Thus, is this a valid number, or sample group (one), to judge that whole school by? I, therefore, wonder how useful these statistics are, if, in fact, they are accurate. Fifthly, turn back to the HEPC stats that contain the West Virginia high school graduates who enrolled in the fall of 2003 "by college attended." This shows that at Glenville State College, "99 percent" of all of our state high school graduates "needed remediation." I know that freshmen often act dumb, but are they really stupid? According to the next page, "92 percent" of GSC's"out-of-state" fresh- men are just as "dumb" as our in-state high school graduates. Do I even need to reveal to you readers that to HEPC's way of com- puting, GSC's freshman class was the most ill-prepared one of all of our state colleges and universities? By contrast, West Virginia Univer- sity freshman were perfect, "not one" in-state or out-of-state student needed remedial help to advance their studies of math or English. Gosh, WVU's "zero percent" shows that its studeat body is absolutely brilliant (but, for two of them, not smart enough to avoid being arrested in an armed rob- bery ofGlenville Foodland last week- end). Sixthly, if you readers are still awake and interested in if we have good education here or not, let's return to the "85 percent" contention of Gilmer County High graduates needing col- lege remediation. It's just a plain bo- gus figure --- one that was goofed up by, none other than, HEPC and Dr. Muddy-lan. Dr. Kathy Buffer, who expressed her concern for the continuation of the current BOE Excess Levy's pas- sage, explains that the miscue hap- pened when GSC created a new Gen- eral Education class which all fresh- men are required to take. It is actually the orientation week's program and related assignments for all newcom- ers -- be they in-state or out-of-state frosh --- to get introduced to college life. It's not a bone-head or frivolous class, but one that is practical, teach- ing the students how to study, to get involved in extra-curricular activities, and to become acclimated to dorm and small community life, among other things. In its infinite wisdom with stats, HEPC, however, mislabeled this Gen- eral Education class as being "a reme- dial course." Hence, 99 percent of our in-state and 92 percent of our out-of- state freshmen were judged to be un- der-achievers, lacking the skills to succeed in college without remediation. Learning of its mistake, HEPC, later, revised the figures for many of the counties, but not providing us with a full listing. For GSC, their remedial freshmen percentage dropped from 85 percent to 48 per- cent (or a 50 percent error on HEPC's pan), being tied with layette County as the highest in this region. Braxton's was lowered to 39 percent from 61 percent, while Calhoun's went down to 44 percent from 59 percenL These newly revised figures still look suspicious to me, so they wouldn't .be valid to dictate my launch- mg a campmgn to denounce or to oppose the upcoming school Excess Levy. Alan Wolfe is certainly a good friend of mine, a nice gentleman and a fine wine-maker, but when he uses % those obvious illogical, inaccurate and bogus Higher Education Policy Com- mission data to attack our Gilmer County School System, he becomes a false prophet. In conclusion, as we editors have affirmed editorially last week and this week, the Gilmer County School Sys- tem -- over these past several years has excelled in numerous teach- ing-leaming initiatives, in spite of troubling finances. We, therefore, urge you citizens to vote "For the Levy" which would benefit not just the edu- cators, but, most of all, our county's school children. ~:::::::~:::!i~ :;~::,:~:~: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::',. :~i.: :