This topic will probably get more action from me in coming months. This post will be a quick informational one to start a conversation so that I can get more information.
The California Student Bill of Rights Initiative (link to .pdf of initiative text) seeks to allow students anywhere in California access to UC approved course curriculum. Sounds great. David Haglund, the sponsor of the initiative, intends for the state to make this happen by attaching funding to the course, not the school. And the initiative allows for private providers to offer the services.
The initiative also puts control of the contracting in the hands of the districts instead of the state. However, the initiative places the hands of writing all necessary laws to accomplish the goals of the initiative in the hands of the legislature. This could eventually mean that although the districts are responsible for contracting online providers, it may be the state who determines the providers that get onto an acceptable list; in the same way that schools must choose from state adopted textbooks when they enter review for insufficient NCLB gains.
I copied the text from the bill that gives me pause..
The “other approved provider” phrase leaves a gap the size of Alaska from my perspective.
This article from California Watch does a nice job of introducing pro and con positions. I tried to get a read on David Haglund’s political intentions by Googling the crap out of him. He gets a lot of praise from Tom Vander Ark. He has retweeted positive tweets about Jeb Bush’s Digital Learning Now. His LinkedIn profile indicates that he is a program committee member for iNACOL. It appears that he is still a practicing public education administrator in Riverside.
What say you? Is this a good idea launched in a bad way? Is the clause that allows districts to make their own contracts an improvement on the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Colorado disasters? Do you think the California Student Bill of Rights Act is all gravy?