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West Virginia editorial roundup

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm •  Published: October 15, 2014
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"This was followed by rail, with 2.08 per billion ton miles per year. Natural gas transmission came next, with 0.89 per billion ton miles. Hazardous liquid pipelines were the safest, with 0.58 serious incidents per billion ton miles."

Building the Keystone XL from Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada to Steel City, Nebraska, would eliminate most rail transport of this crude oil.

For nearly six years, the administration of President Obama has blocked the Keystone project, which would also carry oil from Canada's oil sands.

Canadians are tired of the political games Obama is playing, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. A Canadian company — East Energy — announced it will spend $10.7 billion building its own pipeline to its oil.

"Its 2,858-mile path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude," Bloomberg reported.

That makes Canada safer.

Now to build the pipeline to the Bakken fields and make the United States safer.

Online:

http://www.charlestondailymail.com

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Oct. 14

Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, West Virginia, on student discipline:

A chief finding in a report issued last week by the West Virginia Department of Education may not come as a surprise, but it should give Mountain State educators plenty of fodder to think about when it comes to disciplining students.

A study by the department's Office of Research concluded that an increase in discipline referrals raises the likelihood that students will do poorly on standardized tests, particularly those students who are given forms of punishment that take them out of the classroom, according to a report in The Charleston Gazette.

The findings also suggest that out-of-classroom punishments also may be unnecessary in many cases. The research showed that more than three-fifths of documented school disciplinary action in West Virginia takes students out of the classroom for some period of time, although the majority of disciplinary cases are categorized "minimally disruptive behavior." That classification means that students did not pose a danger to themselves or others. In some cases citing minimally disruptive behavior, students were expelled, the researchers found.

The issue raises a type of "chicken-and-egg" question. Do disruptive students have poor achievement because they don't behave? Or does taking them out of the classroom contribute to their poor showings on tests?

There's no clear answer to that, but simple logic would suggest that a student who loses class time also will lose instructional time and therefore have more gaps in learning. Educators stress consistently that being absent from school hurts students' ability to succeed.

That's why it seems to make more sense for the state's school systems to look for alternative disciplinary strategies, particularly if the student does not pose a threat to other students.

The chief take-aways appear to be that schools should emphasize these priorities: avoid kicking students out of school as much as possible so their learning opportunities aren't interrupted, and discipline should be applied impartially.

Online:

http://www.herald-dispatch.com