by minton on August 15, 2014


Please watch this short video about a local valedictorian’s hero.

Mr. Boyer is Geoff Boyer, a Roanoke College mathematics major, class of 1998. Geoff has a great sense of humor, served as volleyball coach for several years, and has done PA and radio announcing for the Craig County football team. He is a wonderful role model.

Odds are that many of our other graduates who teach would also be named if WDBJ7 gave their students the same air time. We strive for exactly the environment that Levi Helm talks about, with learning being fun. Do magic tricks and dice games and sports and history and psychology really belong in MCSP classrooms? We think so; it’s all about a love of learning.

Sadly, the national debate about education tends to focus on assessment. If a high school’s standardized test scores are not high enough, the school can lose funding and accreditation. Are the tests that accurate a measure of learning? Is removing funding the right response to a school with struggling students? The desire for accountability in our children’s schools is understandable, but education is a complicated process that is probably impossible to measure.

A new federal proposal tries to raise the ante on colleges and universities by tying funding to average salaries after graduation. The motivation is easy to understand: a college education that takes large amounts of money should help deliver a better lifestyle. But there is no reason to believe that we can compute a number to evaluate the process: “better” is dependent on where you start, and different colleges have different student profiles.

And that’s not to mention the morality of equating salary with success. A previous blog entry bragged about the high starting salaries of majors in mathematics, computer science, and physics. And we’re proud of that; it’s important.

This entry is about a different type of success, though. In how many jobs do you get to be a hero?