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Lee: Focus some reform discussion on middle school students

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By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says some of the education reform discussion that state lawmakers are going to do when their special session resumes should focus on middle school students.

Lee, a guest Friday on MetroNews “Talkline,” said the state is failing a lot of them.

“That’s where a lot of kids are losing interest,” Lee said.

Lee said at least two areas should be addressed including class size and technical vocational education.

The smaller the class the better the academic outcome, Lee said.

“That’s a high factor in determining a student’s success,” Lee said. “We have the class size (requirements) for K-6 but we don’t have anything for 7-12.”

Lee and the teachers he represents believe those smaller classes need to include experts like psychologists and additional aides.

Lee also supports making more academic offerings available to middle school students.

“We need to move vocational offerings down to the middle school to reach those kids, to reach kids who really want to work with their hands,” Lee said. “Those who really want to take a specific thing and move in that direction.”

Not everyone is going to be an engineer, Lee said.