Which brings me back to education.
In some counties, teachers of at-risk students wanted to try single-sex classes in an effort to turn failure around.
The American Civil Liberties Union swooped it, muttering about gender stereotypes, and ended the experiments. A state that has failed waves of students for years, mounted no resistance.
It didn't even bother to ask its own teachers what they thought.
I hope the state Board of Education, which now seems intent on results, will show some more moxie and authorize field trials.
One of the things teachers most want is an orderly environment. Proponents of single-sex classes think they cut distractions and help students focus.
U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas; and Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, defended such experiments in a column in the Wall Street Journal.
In 2001, they joined with then Sens. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat from New York; and Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, to sponsor a bill allowing such trials.
A 2008 Department of Education study found that "both principals and teachers believed that the main benefits of single-sex schooling are decreasing distractions to learning and improving student achievement."
West Virginia didn't win a dime in the competition for federal Race to the Top Funds.
But Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn., won the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge with all-boys and all-girls freshmen academies.
Its 2007 graduation rate of 55 percent was 81.6 percent in 2011.
The Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School in Texas opened in 2004. It has been a Texas Education Agency Exemplary School since 2006 and won sixth place at the 30th Dallas math olympiad that year.
The all-boys Barack Obama Leadership Academy opened in Dallas last year.
What would happen if the state stopped letting special interests block new ideas and instead authorized several five-year trials each at the elementary, middle and secondary levels?
Could it help students the system has been failing? West Virginia should find out.
No, it might not work. But if failure is a lead pipe cinch, why not risk success?
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.