BlueSky school vows to fight Department of Education's attempt to shut it down

Minnesota's first online high school vowed to fight for its survival after the state took action to shutter it Monday. Full Story
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“Get A Job!!”

Since: Mar 11

Eden Prairie

#1 Mar 8, 2011
The biggest problem with on line classes is that it makes too much sense. Our teachers and administrators would lose their jobs by the thousands and no more tax increases for new schools. I think on line schools are one of the greatest ideas ever.
Andy

Saint Paul, MN

#2 Mar 8, 2011
Someone help me out here. The only motivating factor for the school in proving that their on-line concept works is by having a lot of kids graduate. Kind of leaves the door open for corruption, wouldn't you think?
Chopper

San Antonio, TX

#3 Mar 8, 2011
"In November, the Department of Education threatened to start withholding $18,000 a day in state aid if BlueSky didn't offer evidence it had addressed concerns raised in two state audits."

Um,$18,000 a day in state aid funding? This is an online school that is costing taxpayers 18K a day?

W-T-H?
Eddy

Saint Paul, MN

#4 Mar 8, 2011
NotHappy2PayMore wrote:
The biggest problem with on line classes is that it makes too much sense. Our teachers and administrators would lose their jobs by the thousands and no more tax increases for new schools. I think on line schools are one of the greatest ideas ever.
If the public schools can barely get the kids to show up how do you expect an on-line school to get the kids to do the work. Seems like we are raising a whole generation of toilet scrubbers that will kick and scream about how they (as a licensed and Unionized toilet scrubber) should be making $70 an hour.

Since: Jan 11

San Jose, CA

#5 Mar 8, 2011
Eddy wrote:
<quoted text>
If the public schools can barely get the kids to show up how do you expect an on-line school to get the kids to do the work. Seems like we are raising a whole generation of toilet scrubbers that will kick and scream about how they (as a licensed and Unionized toilet scrubber) should be making $70 an hour.
It would allow the good students to advance faster and not be bothered by thugs and poor teachers, now for the bad students, build more prisons
trolls

Farmington, MN

#6 Mar 8, 2011
NotHappy2PayMore wrote:
The biggest problem with on line classes is that it makes too much sense. Our teachers and administrators would lose their jobs by the thousands and no more tax increases for new schools. I think on line schools are one of the greatest ideas ever.
It makes sense for SOME, but not for all. Certain students can do very well at an online school. Students that can be self-motivators, students that worry about bullying, students with physical disabilities, or mental disabilities. However, could you imagine a future workforce of ONLY kids who have done online HS, who have never had to show respect to a teacher, or use basic communication skills with peers? Like I said, online HS is a great fit for some kids, but certainly not for all.
shut it down

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Mar 8, 2011
Blue sky online school is a joke. Children are not learning from their curriculum. BKO getting shut down is the right thing to do> CHILDREN NEED TO BE IN SCHOOL. With no structure or supervision, no wonder most students are failing.!
outstate

Little Falls, MN

#8 Mar 8, 2011
My 2nd kid goes to BlueSky. I can compare their coursework with my older child's local bricks and mortar coursework. The courses are the same. My kid has more one on one contact with her teachers than at the bricks and mortar. As a parent I am happy with BlueSky. It is not for every student but it is great for some. My BlueSky kid is respectful of her elders and can communicate with her peers.
Ben

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Mar 8, 2011
BlueSky is a farce and never should have been established in the first place. All it does is contribute to the dumbing down of America--and it's doing a great job. It is also just another example of how the government is not doing its job and privatizing traditional public service jobs to for-profit companies.
AntiMelting

Brainerd, MN

#10 Mar 8, 2011
shut it down wrote:
Blue sky online school is a joke. Children are not learning from their curriculum. BKO getting shut down is the right thing to do> CHILDREN NEED TO BE IN SCHOOL. With no structure or supervision, no wonder most students are failing.!
You consider the brick and mortar schools to be succeeding? Maybe online is the way of the future, with less Liberal horseshi/t being crammed down their throats.
JoElle

Aitkin, MN

#11 Mar 8, 2011
Well of course these kids are graduating! They are sitting at home in front of the computer; oh, take a test or a final? Sure, no problem, their books and papers are right there with them; just look up all the answers, and bingo! You graduate with all A's. My niece went to online HS, graduated with great grades. Never happened when she was at brick/mortar school. Not too tough to figure out.
Minnesota resident

Minneapolis, MN

#12 Mar 8, 2011
JoElle wrote:
Well of course these kids are graduating! They are sitting at home in front of the computer; oh, take a test or a final? Sure, no problem, their books and papers are right there with them; just look up all the answers, and bingo! You graduate with all A's. My niece went to online HS, graduated with great grades. Never happened when she was at brick/mortar school. Not too tough to figure out.
Using your logic, we should close down "brick/mortar" schools that offer open book tests.
Online Educator

West Des Moines, IA

#13 Mar 8, 2011
Your statement is grossly inaccurate. BlueSky is not a private, for-profit corporation. BlueSky is a state charter school and its jobs are public service jobs. Online students are more prepared for the 21st century global workforce than traditional students are because they are utilizing the same technologies and means of communication in their daily educational setting that those in business use. This is a digital, high tech, fast-paced, information rich society and like it or not, online education is not going to go away for K-12 or college level education.
Teacher who cares

Sauk Rapids, MN

#14 Mar 8, 2011
FYI- Most of the negative press about BlueSky is coming directly from two disgruntled employees who have not worked for BlueSky in over a year.

Remember, there are always two sides to a story.

Please read BlueSky's official statement below.

“Response to Inaccurate News Report

BlueSky school is outraged at the Department of education and KSTP for their salacious and incendiary portrayal of an extremely flawed process and the inaccurate decision that resulted from it.

The school is being unfairly targeted and has not broken any laws and did not graduate any students illegally in our Winter graduation. The issue comes down to a disagreement over our curriculum alignment to state requirements, and the school stands by our conviction that our curriculum is aligned and meets state standards.

BlueSky school fully intends to use every legal option possible in defending our school, our reputation and our students right to receive the quality education that we provide.

Contrary to the inaccurate news report, students are not scrambling to leave, and the school cannot be shut down before the end of the year—nor before BlueSky is given the chance to be heard by an impartial judge. MDE does not even have an online expert that can legitimately review our curriculum and content delivery process.
seriously

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Mar 8, 2011
I'll tell you that after tutoring a BSO student, it is pretty clear that some the teachers have no grasp of what it takes to do online learning. For example a recent world studies project was " Make a paper mache globe, include label lines of latitude, longitude, sea currents, etc. TAKE A PICTURE, and email it in... " What a joke. Do you REALLY think a 13 year old takes that seriously?! Unless the child is well disciplined or actually has parents that are involved in their school work, the curriculum is a dead end and will not benefit the kids in the future. Why work hard when you can cut, copy, and paste?!
2 sense

Buffalo, MN

#18 Mar 8, 2011
Teacher who cares wrote:
FYI- Most of the negative press about BlueSky is coming directly from two disgruntled employees who have not worked for BlueSky in over a year.
Remember, there are always two sides to a story.
Please read BlueSky's official statement below.
“Response to Inaccurate News Report
BlueSky school is outraged at the Department of education and KSTP for their salacious and incendiary portrayal of an extremely flawed process and the inaccurate decision that resulted from it.
The school is being unfairly targeted and has not broken any laws and did not graduate any students illegally in our Winter graduation. The issue comes down to a disagreement over our curriculum alignment to state requirements, and the school stands by our conviction that our curriculum is aligned and meets state standards.
BlueSky school fully intends to use every legal option possible in defending our school, our reputation and our students right to receive the quality education that we provide.
Contrary to the inaccurate news report, students are not scrambling to leave, and the school cannot be shut down before the end of the year—nor before BlueSky is given the chance to be heard by an impartial judge. MDE does not even have an online expert that can legitimately review our curriculum and content delivery process.
So two former disgruntled employees have that much power they can make the Department of Education make up stuff that are lies? Your argument doesn't make any sense!
Bruin

Cottonwood, AZ

#19 Mar 8, 2011
seriously wrote:
I'll tell you that after tutoring a BSO student, it is pretty clear that some the teachers have no grasp of what it takes to do online learning. For example a recent world studies project was " Make a paper mache globe, include label lines of latitude, longitude, sea currents, etc. TAKE A PICTURE, and email it in... " What a joke. Do you REALLY think a 13 year old takes that seriously?! Unless the child is well disciplined or actually has parents that are involved in their school work, the curriculum is a dead end and will not benefit the kids in the future. Why work hard when you can cut, copy, and paste?!
We have a poster on this board who agrees with your point of view exactly.Almost every post he makes is cribbed and pasted from another source. This is not a practice that a child can use , when his or her studies are being monitored by parents who care enough about real education to send them to a charter school.
Patrick S

Minneapolis, MN

#20 Mar 9, 2011
On-line schools are both very good and very bad.

For one nobody actually knows if the kid is doing the schoolwork or if the parents are doing it for them. Again that is the same way with normal school.

Second it is cheaper in the long run to have everyone on line instead of trying to heat up or cool down a very large building. But on the other side of it kids wont get that environment of being around a lot of people and once they get into the real world they won't know how to interact with other people.

Third, if they make it mandatory that instead of letting the students take the tests at a school with no books or any other material around that they can use to cheat with then you will know if these kids are learning at home and or if the parents are doing the school work for them.

Fourth, this would actually help out a lot of students they can take 7 classes in a normal school and then take a course or two at home on line and for a lot of kids it will help them either catch back up with the rest of the students at their age and or help them graduate faster and or they can take college courses in 11th or 12th grade instead of doing nothing.

There are so many pluses and minuses and for right now just leave the online schools alone and if you really want to argue any point the only one that will really put everyone's mind at ease is number 3 when the kids have to go to a school and take all tests to make sure that they are the ones doing the schoolwork instead.
veteducator1

United States

#21 Mar 9, 2011
Bluesky has been graduating students who have not met state standards for graduating - they have been doing this for as many years as they have been in existence. The "two disgruntled ex-employees", as well as others who were fired, attempted to bring this issue to the attention of the administrators. Formers employees also attempted to inform the administration that the curriculum was not aligned to state standards and instead of working with these educators, the administration fired them and continued to provide a curriculum that did not have the state standards embedded. It amazes me how some of the public take a position about traditional classroom teachers being held accountable but then turn around and accuse the state's governing agency for singling out Bluesky when this school has been investigated for over two years, has had numerous opportunities to revise their curriculum to meet standards, and continues to graduate students who do not meet the standards. As a veteran teacher and school counselor in Minnesota, I find it shocking that people in my own profession can be so unethical as to graduate students who do not meet state standards, not to mention that it is against the law. They should all lose their licenses!
Buttomfly

Madison, WI

#22 Mar 9, 2011
And you don't think kids who don't meet the standards are graduating? Really? Considering the standards change every few years. Once a kid is labeled ADD or ADHD, not necessarily due to a diagnosis but rather a
bored kid who refuses to learn lessons that have no practical use in the real world their standards change. I wish both my kids had had access to online educations in high school. Once they were in college they did fabulous with both online and in school classes. They were suddenly interested in the curriculum because it made sense to what the real world expected of them. Also, their favorite teachers all through school were educators who had real life experience and were teachers because they wanted to share not only prepared materials but their life experiences as well.

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