Exactly what we don't need!
Last week, our principal sent this little blurb he had received from the Minnesota Association of Secondary Principals. It is amazing how policy makers find ways to do exactly the wrong thing.
Late last night the K12 Omnibus Education Policy Committee concluded it's work...The conference committee report will now go to the respective floors of the House and Senate for passage and on to the Governor where it awaits an uncertain fate.
Here are the highlights:
The compulsory attendance and habitual truancy ages are raised to 18. (This provision's effective date is delayed until the 2011-2012 school year.) The Superintendent for St. Paul schools pushed this initiative. Our suggested amendments were not incorporated into the final provisions. We had proposed that districts could move kids to ALCs if they were failing their classes. The ALC's objected and the provision was removed. We proposed that if the principal and parents agreed and the student was 16-17 years old the student could be withdrawn. St. Paul didn't like this idea so it was not adopted. This became a high profile media issue. Privately, some superintendents view this as a revenue raiser. The argument goes that if these kids are kept in school, the district will receive the foundation aid revenue.
There's more, but that's the important part. I don't know anything about the St. Paul superintendent, but I have to assume that he has never been a high school teacher. I also have to wonder if he's ever talked to any. How in the world is forcing 16 and 17 year olds who have no desire to be in school to stay there? Does the stupidintendent have any idea how much damage will be done by forcing them on teachers trying to teach and classmates who want to learn? If I wanted to make education worse in Minnesota, I couldn't think of a more effective tactic.
As much as I disagree with my libertarian friends, boy, do they have a point. When it comes to education, it sure seems like policy makers in government have an uncanny ability to find ways to screw things up.