Educators didn’t create guides

Once again, The News and others are playing a blame game in regards to poverty levels in West Virginia and criticizing educators at all levels for societal factors which West Virginia Department of Education, local and state boards of education have no control of in regards to federal standards, which come from Washington D.C.

Mr. Mullen would better serve the public and any others he claims to be assisting in educational reforms at all levels by realizing the following facts about poverty levels in West Virginia and the United States.

In February 2013, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy compiled the report “Child Poverty in West Virginia, A Growing and Persistent Problem.” The 36-page report prepared by agencies outside the educational systems compiled the real facts about poverty in West Virginia. The report has factual details about the numbers of poverty, households and living units, children and teens of West Virginia. Factoid of the many facts located in the report – “More than one in four West Virginia children lives below the federal poverty line, the 13th highest poverty rate in the nation.” The Southern Education Foundation has details reporting West Virginia has 51.4 percent of students meeting low income standards.

Further research about poverty levels is confirmed by other agencies (not educational related), which rate West Virginia children seventh of 51 states including Washington, D.C., living in poverty. This is a higher rate than the state level report. These actuaries are not done by educators.

People who ascribe to “paint brush” statements without facts might consider reading two books specifically addressing the obstacles of poverty in current American society: “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” by Ruby Payne; and “Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Schools Can Do About It,” by Eric Jensen.

Edith Miller, my supervising teacher at Marshall University, taught me, “Schools are a reflection of the current conditions of society.” The USA is currently in economic chaos of haves and have nots.

Joseph Smith