IP In MD, Home-Schoolers In VA, Charters In LA, and Rhee Takes Questions!

Couple of things lurking in the background now emerging as issues.

Prince George’s County in Maryland wants to capture some of the value of teacher created work and student created work done with school supported tools.  I noted in a TIME column last year that there is some case law on who owns intellectual property created by teachers as part of their job – though the issue is far from settled.  But the Prince Georges’s policy is the most far-reaching I’ve heard of.  Evolving issue but one with big implications for the new teacher sharing sites that are springing up.

Virginia is again considering a “Tebow law” to allow home-schooled students to play high school sports.  The Washington Post takes a look at the issue and one kid caught in the middle.  I did the same in TIME last year and took a look at  the national landscape on this, also evolving, issue.  It’s a frustrating issue because – on both sides – it’s a classic adult interest not kids’ interest issue. Many in the public school establishment loathe home-schoolers and many in the home-school world want nothing to do with public schools. In fact, there are separate home school athletic leagues now. High school athletic associations are right that the minimal grade point average and residency requirements do matter to the integrity of high school sports.  But that points to an obvious compromise rather than a roadblock: Let home-schooled students who agree to take the state’s assessments and are at grade-level play.  Many, though not all, home-school parents I talked to while working on this column about the debate in Virginia were amenable to that (and some coaches, especially in less densely populated areas, while hesitant about speaking up, like the idea of having more students to choose from for varsity squads).

More generally, listening to the rhetoric about this issue you hear things like, ‘we can’t just let our schools become a la carte’ for families.’ But why not?  It seems a great way to broaden support for public education and publicly provided goods – and it is good for kids. Besides, in Virginia and many states home-school students can take classes and join clubs now so it already is a la carte.  In Virgina it’s at the school district’s discretion. It’s only sports where this has emerged as a flashpoint. That ought to tell us something.

Elsewhere, in The New York Times Magazine Michelle Rhee answers questions.   And in Louisiana the state is seeking to expedite the process to create more quality charter schools to serve students stuck in persistently under-performing schools – RFA through this link.  (In 2011 Bellwether helped the state review its charter policies and benchmark against best-practices for quality.)

4 Responses to “IP In MD, Home-Schoolers In VA, Charters In LA, and Rhee Takes Questions!”

  1. PhillipMarlowe Says:

    On Prince George’s County, you missed this very important point:
    It’s not unusual for a company to hold the rights to an employee’s work, copyright policy experts said. But the Prince George’s policy goes a step further by saying that work created for the school by employees during their own time and using their own materials is the school system’s property.
    So, a teacher who writes a lesson plan or unit for their graduate class will find PGCPS sinking their teeth into it.

  2. jeffrey miller Says:

    They can take my lesson plan when they pry it out of my cold, dead hard drive. Can we have more disincentives for choosing a career in teaching please?

    It’s ok to privatize education so long as it’s not the teacher making the money.

  3. PhillipMarlowe Says:

    Michelle Rhee wil be in DC at Politics and Prose on Thursday expanding upon her book Radical-The Miracle Worker.
    http://goo.gl/OLfy9
    She will be “interviewed” by Richard Whitmire, which is like being “interviewed” by Larry King.
    However, unlike Richard (who was grumpy at P&P two years ago when the data came out showing her Baltimore Miracle to be another sham) or unlike Dave Barry, she is charging $12.
    There appears to be no truth to the rumours that she will grant attendees to privilege to cart her about in a rickshaw

  4. Jeanne Faulconer Says:

    Andy, as the mom to the kid in your TIME article, I wrote up our own story about homeschooling and athletics on my blog http://jeannefaulconer.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/without-a-season-virginia-homeschool-sports-access/.

    This bill is supported by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, a statewide organization that is inclusive of homeschoolers with diverse beliefs and political/religious backgrounds and neutral on matters of politics and religion.

    Your readers might be interested to learn more about this approach to homeschooling here: http://vahomeschoolers.org/

    I’m going to lead a session on “Homeschooling for Non-Homeschoolers” on March 22 in Richmond at the annual VaHomeschoolers Conference. Educators, legislators, librarians, businesses, prospective homeschoolers, and eduwonks are welcome to attend. Register on line.

    The comments in the WaPo article you pointed out demonstrate a lot of incorrect information about the sports access legislation specifically and homeschooling in general — and actually, also about the nature of much of Virginia! You know — the rural, less populated parts….

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