WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The days of schools teaching the basics and letting parents handle the rest are long gone. Government schools now want to influence the “whole student,” regardless of how they’re failing at the core mission.

Walla Walla Public Schools in Washington state announced its intention to “assess the physical and mental well being” of students and they’re seeking the community’s help, the Union-Bulletin reported.

“You can’t educate a child who isn’t healthy, and you can’t keep a child healthy who isn’t educated,” said Jennifer Douglas, the district’s director of health services. She was apparently quoting former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.

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The district is planning to implement the “national public health training program” which includes several areas of focus:

  • health and safety policies and environment;
  • health education; physical education;
  • nutrition services;
  • health services;
  • counseling and social services;
  • health promotion for staff; and
  • family and community involvement

The Washington Policy Center analyzed the district’s academic health and found it a bit lacking – and dare we say, not “well.” It reported the 2009-10 Measures of Student Progress and high school proficiency exam results found:

  • 38.9 % of fourth graders failed in reading
  • 59.7% of fourth graders failed in math
  • 49.2% of fourth graders failed in writing
  • 31.2% of eighth graders failed in reading
  • 54.5% of eighth graders failed in math
  • 42.7% of eighth graders failed in science
  • 30.2% of tenth graders failed in reading
  • 65.4% of tenth graders failed in math
  • 54.9% of tenth graders failed in science

With student proficiency rates as ill as these, perhaps the district would be better served focusing on its core mission – academics – instead of trying to psychoanalyze students and do who knows what with the results.