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post #1 of 4 Old 10-18-2009, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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What do you think of this.

State Takes Keys: Bad Grades, No License

By IAN HICKS Staff Writer
POSTED: October 18, 2009

Email: "State Takes Keys: Bad Grades, No License" *To:

WHEELING - Parents of Mountain State students who fail to make the grade this year won't have to take away the car keys. The state will do that for them.
Last fall, the West Virginia Legislature amended a 20-year-old law requiring school districts to report students with poor attendance or who withdrew to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The DMV now can revoke a student's license for poor grades, too.
Some counties implemented the policy last year, while others have waited until this school year to begin the process.
Ohio County is one of those districts which just this year will begin reporting students for poor academics. Superintendent George Krelis said Attendance Director Jeffrey Laird works closely with Kim Miller, director of student services, to monitor attendance - and now, grades.
"The privilege of operating a motor vehicle falls directly on the student," said Laird.
Krelis said he's a fan of the policy.
"We will comply with the law," he said. "It's a good thing ... hopefully, it will work."
Krelis noted there is no specific grade point average requirement for pupils to keep their drivers' licenses, but the law states they must make "adequate academic progress." Laird said that means a student must earn five credits per year, three of which must be core classes like reading, math, science and social studies.
Students carrying a full schedule and passing all their courses would earn eight credits in one year. According to Laird, officials considered requiring schools to report any student with a GPA under 2.0, but that was not approved.
Under the existing policy based on attendance, which remains in effect, students who miss 11 consecutive days unexcused, or who incur a total of 15 unexcused absences over the course of the year, can have their license revoked. Laird said he sent 51 letters to the DMV during the 2008-09 school year. He noted exceptions may be made for those students enrolled in a GED program, who have serious medical problems or other "extenuating circumstances."
Laird said a student's license can be revoked for either a semester or a year, depending on how long it takes that student to show sufficient progress.
Krelis believes the attendance policy already has a "dual effect" on students simply getting them into the classroom improves performance, he said, and he hopes directly tying grades to driving privileges will have a positive impact as well.
Brooke County also is implementing the grade policy for the first time this year, according to Superintendent Mary K. DeGarmo. She said that, like with any new procedure, there are some "kinks" to work out. Ultimately, however, she thinks it will be a motivating factor for children and their parents.
"It brings to their attention that this is for real," she said. "They need to come to school and maintain their averages."
DeGarmo said students can request a hearing if they feel their license was revoked in error due to a grade miscalculation. She said under the attendance policy, students have had their licenses reinstated after producing papers proving their absences were medically-related.
Marshall and Wetzel counties each began to comply with the law by the end of the 2008-09 school year. Officials in both districts said students last year lost their licenses due to grades, but couldn't say exactly how many.
Marilyn Dague, attendance director for Marshall County Schools, said there wasn't a dramatic increase in license revocations under the new policy. She said in some instances, the policy challenges kids to do better in school, but punishes others who struggle academically. However, Dague doesn't feel the requirements are overly stringent.
"I think most students can meet that criteria," she said. "If you have a 'D' average, that's passing." Dague noted the policy is much more lenient than that set down by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, which requires students maintain a 2.0 average to play sports.
Sue Villers, who handles the program for Wetzel County Schools, said she feels the policy is necessary because there are too many students with poor grades and attendance records. Villers noted in West Virginia, students who commit a Level 4 offense those which would constitute a felony if the student were an adult also have their licenses taken away.
"It makes kids more accountable on their behavior as well as academics," she said. "Driving's a privilege and privileges you kind of have to earn.
"Our goal is to educate," Villers continued. "Anything that improves grades, attendance and behavior is worth it."
While the new policy may not affect all students because some high schoolers are not yet old enough to drive, Villers said it affects enough to make the program effective. She said Wetzel County has 950 secondary students, most of whom will eventually get their learner's permit and driver's license.
As for whether the policy will achieve its ultimate goal of boosting students' grades, Villers said, "I hope so. Too soon to tell yet."

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within. Douglas MacArthur
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-18-2009, 10:39 AM
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I think it's silly. Whether or not the teens show up for class, drop out and/or receive poor grades, I don't like the thought of the state intervening and taking control of what ultimately should be the parents responsibility for handing out punishments.

Another thing to consider is that if the state does take away a license for the reasons mentioned above, should they drive anyway and break the 'rules' like a lot of teens, it's now driving without a license and could land them in serious trouble. The law might help motivate some students, but for a few, it'll now turn them into 'criminals' if caught.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-18-2009, 11:08 AM
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A) education has nothing to do with driving ability

B) if they drop out in a small town where jobs are limited and have no car finding work will be much harder

a big -1 imo

Gonna kick off my shoes,And run in bare feet, Where the grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet...
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-18-2009, 01:22 PM
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I don't often come across with stupidity like this.

I think incentives are a way better choice in a case like that one. IMO, official punishments should be used only in situations in which somebody is doing something criminal, living 'against the rules'. Otherwise it's every family's own issue to decide how to handle with low grades. I don't also believe that this will have positive impacts like they planned. Ok, perhaps some factitious ones like seemingly more higher grades and seemingly fewer unexused absences. But does it really motivate students to study positively? I bet it isn't. It makes whole the schooling system more negative institution, especially in the brains of those students who simply can't do it and who btw have often other problems with their lives too. Yea, I think that school has to have its educational task but besides that it really should encourage people to find their inner power, develop and educate theirself because THEY want it. I think the laws like this wreak havoc to this side of the schooling system.

I also doubt how this will work in the real word. They said that if you have medical issues, your license can be reinstated. But how many 'troubled' students there are who aren't just lazy but who have unidentified problems? Fatigue? Depression? Learning disabilities etc? Do they really recognize all these problems every time when needed or will those students be categorized as 'badasses' who lose their licences? I think it won't help them to cope with their problems. And what if there are students who really need their license and car?

Perhaps this will really help a small group of students but I think it won't really help the most of students. So IMHO, it's just plain stupidity.

"On hyviä vuosia, kauniita muistoja, mutta kuitenkaan, en saata unohtaa,
Että koskaan en ole yksin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Vaikka myrsky hetkeksi tyyntyykin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Ja pian taas uusin hönkäyksin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Hei tuu mun luo, pieneksi hetkeksi. Puhutaan, varjoni, valkoiseksi enkeliksi."

Pelle Miljoona - Varjo seuraa onneain

Last edited by TaMMa89; 10-18-2009 at 01:31 PM.
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