We have wrote briefly about ALEC, a far right organization dedicated to pushing radical legislation (such as SB5 and HB194) through state legislatures. Their next salvo is being prepped for education, according to leaked documents.
That does sound bad! But what exactly are they planning? (Here's their leaked agenda (pdf)), and a sample:
This bill opens up the world of high-quality online course instruction to students. Each year, students in public school grades 7-12 would have the option to enroll in up to two online courses that award college credit or meet standards for core academic courses. The state would create standards and accountability measures to ensure that they are providing students with a course catalog containing only high-quality online course offerings. Funding for each online course is driven by the free-market in an open and competitive process, rather than simply allocating a portion of student funding unrelated to the actual cost to deliver the course. Finally, after completion of each online course, parents and students provide feedback via the web in an open forum to rate the effectiveness of the course. This feedback, combined with test scores, provides a quality indicator ranking that is available to all.
More privatization of instruction, market driven of course. Worse proposals are still to come, including
This legislation creates a mechanism for public school districts and schools to request exemption from state education standards and regulations. Under this act, any district or school can create a list of state regulations or standards that, if exempted from, the district or school could operate more efficiently and better serve students.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of XXXX:
A. Notwithstanding any other law, a school district, tradition, or charter school may receive exemptions from statutes and rules as prescribed in this section.
B. The school district, traditional, or charter school may identify and submit exemptions to statutes and rules relating to schools, governing boards and school districts to the state board of education for approval. The state board of education shall review and may approve the exemptions submitted, except for those statutes and rules that directly apply to the following:
1. Health and safety.
2. Requirements for the graduation of pupils from high school.
3. Special education.
4. Financial compliance and procurement requirements.
C. The state board of education may adjust the list of exemptions to comply with federal and state law.
A free for all! It's a mighty strange world we live in where groups can opt to of laws they don't like, but that is what ALEC is proposing here.
So if you see or hear of bills being introduced in Ohio similar to these, you know where the idea came from. We'll be keeping an eye out.