Monday, November 5, 2007

Parents are the Problem

Excerpted from Virtual Reality, a blog at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

When someone has an agenda, and you don't support that agenda, that person with the agenda will see you as an obsticle and try to remove you from their path. Evidently, the DPI and WEAC see parents as an obsticle when it comes to educating your children. Is it safe to assume that they have an agenda?

On Tuesday of this week, in a Waukesha courtroom, the state governmental agency responsible for our public schools and a labor union came before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and pleaded with the judges to keep parents out of public schools.

Yes, that's right. The state and the teachers union are at war with parents and I'm mad as heck about it. (Madder than heck, actually, but trying to keep this blog family friendly).

According to the Department of Public Instruction and the state teachers' union, parents are the problem. And these bureaucracies know just how to fix it. They want to keep parents, and indeed anyone without a teaching license, out of Wisconsin public schools.

Of course WEAC, the state teachers' union, likes that idea. Licenses mean dues. Dues mean power.

DPI likes it because ........well, could it be just because WEAC does?

The lawsuit before the Court of Appeals was filed by WEAC in 2004 in an effort to close a charter school that uses an on-line individualized curriculum allowing students from all over the state to study from home under the supervision of state certified faculty. The school is the Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA). The Northern Ozaukee School District took the bold step of opening this new kind of school in the fall of 2003 after DPI approved their charter. Hundreds of families around the state enrolled their children under open enrollment that first year and mine was one of them. WIVA has grown every year since and this year has more than 800 students.

In January of 2004, WEAC filed their lawsuit against the school and DPI who authorized its existence. Later that year in a stunning reversal DPI switched sides and moved to close its own public school. DPI alleges that parents are too involved in their own children's

That's right. They argue parents are too involved.

I've always thought parental involvement in a child's education was a good thing. What do I know? I don't have a teacher's license.

DPI says they don't know how much parental involvement is too much, but they say they know I and the other parents at WIVA are too involved. Too involved? DPI has refused to propose any rules for on-line schools to follow. They are a regulatory agency and that's their job, but they have gone to the courts instead. They have asked the courts to write the rules and they've told the courts that parents have no business being so involved in the public education of their children.

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