Teach for America benefits many
After the debate over whether Teach for America should enter West Virginia, it's an excellent time for West Virginians to learn the research on teacher preparation. It's important to know that teacher certifications and degrees have no influence on student achievement.
This is a well-established fact in education and economic research, but is not reflected in the way schools attract, pay and try to retain teachers, because current people in power benefit by treating teachers as interchangeable cogs in a one-size-fits-all assembly line. Education schools keep their monopoly on teacher preparation and required continuing education credits, even though these are essentially useless. Unions benefit by treating members as a mass - that's how unions work.
Research has shown Teach for America graduates equal or better than their conventional peers in terms of how much their students learn. Opening the state to new ideas like this benefits both kids and teachers: Kids, by getting them more effective teachers, and teachers, by not wasting their time and money.
Senator should report possible threats
State Senate President Jeff Kessler said the Senate will not take up a bill to nullify city gun ordinances, citing threats by supporters of the bill directed at senators.
It's not unusual for state politicians to pretend they support a bill when they actually oppose it - so it's quite possible that opponents of the bill threatened state lawmakers in hope that it would anger lawmakers to do nothing. It's a common tactic of liberals and it also gives legislators an excuse not to act on popular legislation which they oppose. If Sen. Kessler knows something he should turn it over to the authorities.
Gerald S. Ratliff