I've alerted the website guys to expect a huge amount of traffic to 1490wosh.com today--as I will once again be commenting on education. Such Two Cents features are usually met by many kudos from taxpayers and much scorn from educators--who seem to enjoy posting lengthy blog responses with study results and test numbers supporting their arguments. But the internet is a big universe and can handle a few more keystrokes.
Two local districts are now applying for waivers from the state to stay in the SAGE program--but to have more kids in the classroom than required by the program rules. The Appleton School District held a public hearing on waiver last night--and a waiver appears on tomorrow's Oshkosh School Board agenda. My question is: if the benefits of having just 15-kids per teacher is so important--why are these districts asking to go above the limit?
One of my suggestions for school savings last week was to dump the SAGE program altogether. I pointed out that the money given to districts by the state doesn't cover the expense of the program. That was met by the aforementioned long blog responses from teachers who basically told me I was an idiot and that it's nearly impossible now to teach more than that many kids at one time--and maybe I should keep my thoughts on education to myself from now on. Well, apparently some of the administrators in Appleton and Oshkosh think 15 isn't such a magic number after all. I fully expect all of the teachers who posted responses to my original blog to be at the Board meetings demanding more teachers and less waivers.
My biggest beef is with the "false advertising" perpetrated by SAGE districts. Those requesting waivers are taking taxpayer dollars to limit class sizes--but then aren't playing by the rules. If fifteen is the rule, then fifteen should be the limit. Or if 18 is okay--a number currently being used in the Appleton District--then let's make the SAGE limit 18. I'm guessing there are a few other districts around the state that could benefit from raising the numbers--and I doubt the impact on the kids will be that great.