"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Senator Grothman (R-West Bend) Proposes That Middle School Students May Earn High School Credit: Finally!

Click on the link below to read the Wisconsin State Journal article about proposed legislation to enable students taking High School level classes in Middle School to earn the credit for their labor. When I was on the school board, I pointedly asked why a kid in 8th grade algebra didn't earn High School credit for a class that had the same curriculum as the High School class. I was told it was because the teacher had to be certified for high school instruction for that to happen. I was appalled with this state of affairs. However, it seems it's a bit deeper than that. Kids that are two years ahead in math and science go over to the high school and take those classes and earn credit. But those credits only count toward EHS graduation requirements and those students must still take the statute required math classes as described on the DPI website (http://cal.dpi.wi.gov/cal_8gr_algebra_hsgrad):

According to s.118.33, Wis. Stats., students must take at least two credits of mathematics in grades 9-12 to meet the state high school graduation requirements. If algebra or geometry is taken by students in the middle school, a district may award high school credit providing the course is the same as the course offered at the high school, the course is taught by a licensed mathematics teacher (a grade 1-9 with mathematics minor license may be used for algebra but not geometry), and district policy permits awarding credits prior to grade nine.
Credits obtained would count toward the overall district’s credit-requirement, but not for the credits specified in law.
Should a district permit accumulation of high school credits prior to entry to grade nine, a student must still take at least 4 credits English, 3 credits social studies, 2 credits science, 2 credits mathematics, and 1 ½ credits physical education in grades 9-12 to meet the state requirements.

This is such a waste of time and resources, I cannot wrap my head around it. It is a rare thing when I agree with a Republican on anything, but Grothman has been spot on with his proposal to allow high school credit in middle school and with his insistence that voucher schools be answerable to the same standards as the public schools from which they are sucking revenue. He joins the even rarer group of politicians who want to do the right thing, regardless of the party line. Both sides of the political aisle are more concerned with party uberloyalty than representing their constituents, so much so that they threaten the integrity of our republic. Thank you for bucking your party, Senator. 

Now, I'm pretty sure the good senator also has in mind whipping these kids through high school more quickly and off the public "dole," envisioning as he probably is a reduced teacher count. But I envision students who want to stay in high school the full 4 years to take advantage of other opportunities, like AP classes to get a jump on college credit at deep discount prices. They could have 2 or 3 credits freed up in high school to investigate other areas and broaden their education. What a concept! Produce students with a well-balanced education. Ye-ha! Enable a kid to fully investigate a topic he is passionate about.  Imagine the possibilities...


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