Monday, March 9, 2009

Things that make you go "hmmmm": Virtual High School a "Consent" item

See the Budget:

Play the (very brief)video

What's that mean? That is an understatement!
Does it mean we will CHARGE each student $6,500 per year (for 5 or less students)? Is that on top of the state aid we get for each of them? Or do we not get aid for virtual students?
These are all legitimate questions...but you likely won't get any answers as the whole concept of starting a virtual high school is listed on the "Consent Items" agenda.

What exactly does "Consent Items" mean on a board agenda?

A consent agenda, sometimes called a consent "calendar," is a component of a meeting agenda that enables the board to group routine items and resolutions under one umbrella.

As the name implies, there is a general agreement on the procedure. Issues in this consent package do not need any discussion before a vote. Unless a board member feels that an item should be discussed and requests the removal of that item ahead of time, the entire package is voted on at once without any additional explanations or comments.

Because no questions or comments on these items are allowed during the meeting, this procedure saves time.
Read the whole article from

The school board rushed through the 4-year old kindergarten proposal, and now we're jumping into a virtual school with NO public input? be totally accurate, this WAS a subject at the Education&Policy committee meeting last week. I guess if you didn't have your say there, then tough tooties.

[ SP-EYE: Look, this is just our take, but does anyone else think that just maybe, the school district should start excelling in what they already have before leaping into all these new programs? We hear about the great accomplishments of our sports teams, our cheer teams, and our dance teams. But when was the last time we had A national merit scholar? Why does Sun Prairie rank right dead square in the middle of the pack of area schools in terms of WKCE scores? Sun Prairie is well known for its athletic achievement...and that's an awesome PART of a total education. When are we going to be known for BOTH athletics and academic achievement?

The District is usually quick to respond to such questions by pointing at the high levels of "diversity" in the district. Good one.

But if the "diversity issue" is holding us back, then why are we expending all of these efforts on new programs instead of focusing on dealing with the diversity of our students? We learned at the CETF meeting last week that there will be no boundary changes until the 8th elementary school planning in 3-4 years. That means there will be no plan to balance the socioeconomic diversity for 3-4 years.

It is common sense to not branch out until you first have a solid foundation. Why aren't we fortifying what we have before starting new programs? That seems to reflect a position of striving for mediocrity. ]