Saturday, January 26, 2008

The art of compromise - virtual schools and politics

Politics is the art of compromise. You give, you take, both sides get what they want.

Wisconsin legislators announced a plan Thursday to keep open virtual schools that enroll 3,500 students statewide - a compromise parents of those children hailed as a major victory.

'Major victory' is possibly in the eye of the beholder; without the comprimise virtual schools would have been dead, dead, dead. I suggest that when the alternative is utter defeat, you can call it a major victory.

The compromise?

• Require the same hours of instruction per year for online students as for those in traditional classrooms,

• Make sure that only certified, licensed teachers develop lesson plans and grade assignments, and require that, within two years, they must complete 30 hours of training in online education,

• Subject all records dealing with virtual schools to the open records law, which Lehman said is necessary to make sure that taxpayers who pay state aid can hold school districts that run the programs accountable,

• Require that teachers respond to inquiries from both parents and students within 24 hours,

• Define truancy for online students, and require that truancy records be kept,

• Allow the state Department of Public Instruction to operate an online academy, which would provide advice and suggested standards for school districts statewide that want to start their own online schools.

Mind you, Governor Doyle has to sign it.

Permanent Record

In ten years they'll be voting.

Another fly in the ointment?

In a statement, WEAC officials said they had not yet decided whether to support or try to kill the compromise.

Translation: In a statement, WEAC officials said they had not yet decided to join the rest of us in the 21st century, and weren't sure if a lawsuit that puts some of their own membership out of work was a good idea or not. They went on to state that working to promote the welfare of their membership was 'confusing' and 'not really our thing'.

A lawsuit whose end result is putting union members out of work - Sam Gompers is turning in his grave.


What, are you people on crack?
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