A proposal to make “politically possible” changes in public education has been put before the state senate.
Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit says his plan is a three-legged stool. One part would allow merit-based teacher compensation statewide. It’s now used only in St. Louis. He says it makes no sense to pay teachers who make extra efforts the same as teachers who do the minimum.
He suggests letting some children enroll in kindergarten after the first semester if they’re among the youngest students who would otherwise enroll in September. Bartle would let parents decide which would be their child’s regular kindergarten start date.
Then there’s year-around schools. “Studies tell us that children lose so much over the summer, especially younger kids,” he says, “and it’s silly. It can easily be remedied.” Bartle says no additional school days are needed, but the three-month summer break needs to go away. .
Bartle says he has no illusions his three-pronged proposal will be passed this year. But he hopes the issue can at least be discussed in committee hearings. He says he hopes the Senate will not give up on dealing with some of the worst problems facing education–teacher compensation, better scheduling for learning, and waiting until a student is ready before starting kindergarten