Bureaucrats deny students credit for class work at home

By WND Staff

Millions of school children across America are keeping up with their studies online at home while their classrooms are closed because of the coronavirus.

But students in Michigan won’t get any credit for their work because of a decision by the state Department of Education and the teachers’ unions.

David A. Kallman of the Great Lakes Justice Center writes that state officials are “disingenuously” citing two reasons for refusing students credit: that schools cannot count students doing studies online at home for purposes of state funding and a lack of equal access.

“Neither excuse is valid,” he charged. “First, state funding has nothing to do with whether a school gives academic credit for course work performed by a student. Whether or not the school gets paid by the state does not prohibit the school from granting academic credit for work performed.

“Remember,” he said, “school districts already utilize homebound student programs, distance learning programs, and cyber schools. Students in those programs receive academic credit. Why not for students at home during this emergency? Each school district is responsible for their curriculum and how students receive academic credit. Academic credit ought not be related to funding or protecting unions.”

He cited a recent study finding 86% of Michigan children have access to a computer at home.

“What possible rationale justifies denying the vast majority of students’ credit for their on-line studies because 14% do not have access? It makes more sense to assist the 14% to gain access instead of penalizing the 86%,” he wrote.

“Moreover, many of these homes likely have access to smart phones or other electronic devices that could be utilized in the short term.”

He said the excuses from the teachers’ unions and the state education department are being used to try to get more money and more concessions from lawmakers.

Kallman said “public school officials fear that the home education model for teaching children might be validated if academic credit were granted. If home education can work during this health crisis, why not all the time?”

Parents have the option, he noted, of informing a school district in writing they are withdrawing their children and intend to privately homeschool.

“Do not be held hostage by the public education establishment’s attempt to use your children as pawns to try and gain more money and political clout,” he said.

“You may find that you like the home education alternative so much that you never go back.”

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