EDITORIAL: SAGE program needs more state scritiny
It's nice to see the state is cracking down on misuse of its Student Achievement Guarantee in Education program, SAGE for short, which requires school districts to provide one teacher for each 15 students in participating classes. It would have b...
It's nice to see the state is cracking down on misuse of its Student Achievement Guarantee in Education program, SAGE for short, which requires school districts to provide one teacher for each 15 students in participating classes. It would have been even nicer if rule exemptions had not been given in the first place.
Last year, the Department of Public Instruction announced it would no longer allow such exemptions, then the state agency let Chippewa Falls put 33 percent more students into its classes than SAGE rules allow. Rules have been bent much further in other districts. According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that appears today on Page A3, classes contained up to 28 pupils in the Rhinelander district. That defeats the program's purpose, which is to provide more teacher time to students who need it the most.
Some state lawmakers believe even more must be done to protect the program's integrity. They note there is no monitoring of schools that have not applied for waivers. For all anyone knows, there could be violations statewide.
It shouldn't be necessary to audit the state school by school, as there should be no doubt that districts comply with SAGE rules. Yet, most components of "No Child Left Behind" also shouldn't be needed, for school districts should ensure all students receive the instruction they deserve to sufficiently advance from grade to grade through graduation.
Pressuring schools and government, however, won't ensure all students are properly educated. Parents must ensure their kids get to class and stay in class, then provide encouragement and assistance at home. Too much in the country, the public school system is expected to play the role of educator and social worker, picking up the slack for parents who expect the world to raise their kids. The education system cannot succeed unless everyone does their part, including -- teachers, parents and students.