Opinion

State superintendent must shrink his job

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state school board hired Michael J. Martirano as the new state superintendent. For the last nine years, he has headed the public school system in St. Mary’s County, Md.

In St. Mary’s, Martirano oversaw the instruction of 17,454 students. In this job, he needs to remind himself that he has zero students. The 55 county superintendents can handle West Virginia’s 280,000 students with less help from Charleston.

The money is there to finance a world-class education in West Virginia.

While the state’s per capita personal income is 22 percent below the national average, West Virginia is 7 percent above the national average in spending per student.

This problem is management and over-regulation. Lawmakers and the bureaucrats have failed the students by trying to micromanage the schools from Charleston.

 Gov. Joe Manchin hired PublicWorks LLC whose independent efficiency experts reviewed the situation.

“We have encountered no other state that insulates its education system so much from gubernatorial -– or voter -– control; restricts local initiative so much on the part of districts, building principals, and teachers; and vests so much authority for education at the state level,” the experts at Public Works LLC reported in January 2012…

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