Some Utah senators are proposing a bill that eliminates the 12th grade (or makes it optional)
The proposal will supposedly save the state 60 million dollars.
you think that's nuts, look at this....
Public, students speak out against Grand Rapids schools' online education, superintendent scales back plan
By The Grand Rapids Press
April 27, 2010, 12:23AM
T.J. Hamilton | The Grand Rapids PressThe audience listens during the Grand Rapids school board meeting Monday at Ottawa Hills High School.GRAND RAPIDS -- About 600 people attended Monday's rescheduled Grand Rapids Board of Education meeting, with nearly 50 registering days in advance to question the board about proposed changes, including a controversial shift to online instruction at the city's high schools.
But Wes Viersen said he came to answer the board's questions about online classes. The Creston High School senior considers himself an expert in online courses, having completed 14 this year -- a feat he said he could verify with the transcript in his pocket.
"Overall, the quality of E2020 is horrible," Viersen told the board. "I completed courses, but I did not get an adequate education."
Public speaks out about proposed online classes
Monday's meeting was moved to Ottawa Hills High School, a week after a meeting that drew an overflow crowd had to be canceled because of fire code concerns.
Many in the crowd asked the school board to take another look at the proposal for online learning, which has drawn heavy criticism.
De'Andreah Hollowell, a sophomore at City High School, said it is the arts that put Grand Rapids on the map, but the proposed switch to running arts "hubs" citywide will weaken arts education overall by forcing students to specialize. At 16, Hollowell said she's not ready to choose between her interests, art and debate.
Paris Lara, a Creston sophomore, challenged the board to listen to its public, and thoroughly investigate online learning results in GRPS and other districts before deciding it'll be fine for most students.
Cierra Harris, a student at Southeast Career Pathways, which has 100 percent online instruction, had to leave before the 90-minute public comment period began, but said she wanted to warn the board that security is an issue.
She said there have been times teacher's passwords were swiped and students changed their grades. Family and friends also have found ways to log on to do a student's work. The district suspends cheaters, but that won't deter some students from trying, she said.
• Dean Transportation bus contract extended
Board member Tony Baker encouraged the board to survey high school students about their experience with online learning before approving a budget that includes cuts achieved by moving much instruction online.
Baker and colleagues Senita Lenear and Wendy Falb supported a failed motion not to accept a $400,000 Kellogg Foundation grant to train teachers how to instruct in a blended format unless a board study concludes the move has academic merit.
Falb's comments that the changes proposed in GRPS run counter to President Obama's K-12 technology in education policy ignited a standing ovation and the longest applause of the night.
"Quit now. Give it up," said Jim Rinck, a former board member, who charged that a culture of fear and intimidation is eating away at the district like a cancer. "I'm appalled at what I hear and what I see."
Superintendent Bernard Taylor requested clear direction from the board soon about how administration should proceed.
"If not this, what?" Taylor asked, reminding the board that $10 to $15 million must be cut from the 2010-11 budget, which law requires be approved by June 30.
Taylor also invited high school principals to publicly support the plan, updated Monday with changes they recommended after school-based budgeting meetings and course selections for next fall.
Under the revised plan, most high school students would take two core academic classes -- instead of four -- in a blended format, with part instruction given face-to-face by a teacher and part from modules taught via computer.
The change will lift a 72-student cap per subject, per grade, per building for students who prefer to take traditionally taught classes, said John Helmholdt, the district's spokesman.
The new plan will necessitate minimal layoffs since a higher number of staff -- 72 teachers and 19 administrators -- have notified the district they intend to retire, Taylor wrote in a Friday memo to the board.
Beyond the retirements, the district will have to eliminate 28 high school teaching positions, 24 middle school teachers, 20 special education teachers, 14 art, music and physical education teachers and 10 elementary teachers, to achieve $11 million in cuts, according to Taylor's memo.
Principals at the districts' four comprehensive high schools now intend to offer most math and social studies classes in the blended format. There are exceptions. Principals want Algebra II, the most difficult class many students take, taught in the traditional way.
"Developing quality (blended) curriculum takes time," said Ed Shalhoup, principal at Union High. "With the amount of time we have (before fall), we figure we can develop two courses."
Taylor said after the meeting that the plan was never firm to offer all four core high school classes online, although that is what was stated on the district's website.