Monday, October 26, 2015

Alaska lawmaker wants to do away with some rural schools and use online courses instead. Wanna guess where she's from?

Courtesy of Alaska Public Media:

That there are new ideas for changing how the state pays for education isn’t a surprise. That this cost-saving proposal could close 60 schools across the state is. 

“Certainly there has been talk that 10 students is, quite frankly — with the technology that we have today and the options that are available — it’s just too expensive,” Rep. Lynn Gattis said. 

Gattis is a Republican from Wasilla and chairs the House Education Committee. She’s one of the lawmakers considering introducing legislation to change a number of things about how schools in Alaska are funded. One of her ideas is to increase the minimum threshold for schools to receive full funding. She’s considering proposing 25 students as the minimum, but she’s open to a number higher or lower than that. 

“If I was in charge, I would open up those options whether it be virtual schools — I went to school when it was correspondence back in the day and we have come a long way,” Gattis said.

So Gattis was educated through a correspondence school, well that answers a lot of questions. 

And of course, of course, she is representing Wasilla.

Where else?

We have already closed a number of rural schools due to the fact that they did not have the minimum number of students available to keep them open, increasing the number to 25 would see many more close as well. That should be the opposite of what we are trying to do for our children.

As for online courses, well besides the fact that the students would not have personal interactions with an actual teacher, the largest internet provider up here, GCI, only covers this much area.

That's pretty good considering how bad things were in the past, but that is still a lot of communities left in the dark.

No this Gattis person is an idiot, and I would assume that nobody is paying any real attention to her concerning this issue.

After all she's from Wasilla!

Any ideas on improving education opportunities that come from Wasilla should be dismissed out of hand.


  1. Anonymous4:07 AM

    What a great idea! Close the schools and just let all the kids be homeschooled by Palins. What could go wrong?

  2. Anonymous4:07 AM

    Assume = Ass+U+Me
    Never assume.

    1. Anonymous5:59 AM

      That old chestnut is so stupid.

    2. Anonymous8:19 AM

      It IS stupid, but is it any more stupid than the general opinion in the lower 48 that Alaska is full of eskimos and losers?
      Remember: If you can't 'make it' in the USA, go to Alaska!
      (or is that true?)

  3. Anonymous4:17 AM


    "....“Once McCain put Palin on the ticket, Republican ‘grown-ups,’ who presumably knew better, had to bite their tongues. But after the election, when they were free to speak their minds, they either remained quiet or abetted the dumbing-down of the party,” he continued. “They stood by as Donald Trump and others noisily pushed claims that Obama was born in Kenya. And they gladly rode the Tea Party tiger to sweeping victories in 2010 and 2014.”

    According to Daley the Republican’s have become captives to candidates like Trump, who is thriving in a system that is built upon “opportunistic soundbites above seriousness, preparedness and intellectual heft.”

    Daley notes that while all of the GOP’s ills can’t be blamed on Palin, she set the stage for a batch of “nonsense-spewing, hard-right candidates” who followed her and damaged the Republican brand....."

    1. Anonymous6:00 AM

      Great article!

  4. Anonymous4:46 AM

    I did a dual community college/online high school deal for my oldest, who was ready for some college classes in high school but needed high-school-level classes in some areas. Our experience was that online schooling--even for a highly-motivated and educationally-prepared child--was inferior to regular classroom teaching. Putting kids with no academic drive and little academic preparation through online schooling for K-12 would be a disaster that would churn out Palin-level imbeciles.

    1. Anonymous5:32 AM

      It seems to me that the whole idea is to slough off the state's responsibility to provide K-12 education. I agree that kids do best in a classroom setting where they have the opportunity to grow intellectually and emotionally. I cannot imagine living in a rural community and depriving my children of the opportunity to be with others in a learning environment. Typically GOP-ish, this Wasilla legislator is looking to save a few dollars and waste a few lives. What does she care?

    2. Anonymous6:18 AM

      Homeschooling and online schooling depends on educated, motivated parents to make it work. You can't depend on children to educate themselves because they're just children. It also requires many social opportunities for the kids to get together and learn socially from each other.

    3. Anonymous9:43 AM

      Even then your child would not have had that option if you didn't have internet access and a device for him to do the online classes on.

    4. Anonymous3:07 PM

      The "chair" should check her grammar when advocating for education:

      "If I 'was' in charge". Not very impressive.

    5. I did my second master's degree mostly online. There were a few times classes met at least once but most of it was internet based.

      It isn't for everyone.

      It certainly isn't for elementary age students.

      It takes a certain self-discipline to thrive in that sort of environment. If you procrastinate, it is very easy to fail.

      Even some adults can't handle it.

      Just because our children are connected online and seem to spend a lot of time online doesn't mean they can thrive with an online education platform.

      I had up to date equipment and a good service provider with a decent bandwidth and speed and even I had problems with some of the online office hours, chats, forums and drop boxes.

      Internet service in Alaska isn't as widespread or generally good as what you'd find in my urban area. This woman is an idiot if she thinks this is going to solve any budget problems or save money.

      I can just see parents suing the state to provide computers and pay for internet access so their children can attend online school.

      As for the 25 minimum, what are you going to do when a few children have to travel over 30 miles ONE WAY to attend this school?

  5. Anonymous4:50 AM

    Forget traditional school
    Forget correspondence school

    What's good enough for multimillionaire Sarah Palin's children is good enough for every child in Alaska

    GED is the way and after that then send them to hair school and pimple school.

  6. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Great article about another woman from Wasilla.

    “Once McCain put Palin on the ticket, Republican ‘grown-ups,’ who presumably knew better, had to bite their tongues. But after the election, when they were free to speak their minds, they either remained quiet or abetted the dumbing-down of the party,” he continued. “They stood by as Donald Trump and others noisily pushed claims that Obama was born in Kenya. And they gladly rode the Tea Party tiger to sweeping victories in 2010 and 2014.”

    1. Anonymous6:19 AM

      I came on to leave a note about this - the first couple of sentences are sooo accurate.

      Pat Padrnos

  7. Anonymous7:17 AM

    I agree that distance learning can be a good thing... if properly supervised by well-educated, motivated teachers who are (presumably) working with motivated students.

    That being said, my next thought is this: what financial relationship does this woman have with any of the prospective wireless providers? Also, too - does she have any financial interest in any of the prospective content providers for the proposed distance learning programs? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. Anonymous7:35 AM

      Several online schools are for-profit operations. Rand Paul owns his own curriculum, as well. You have to be very, very careful before you jump into online schooling.

    2. Bingo!

      You always follow the money.

  8. Our MI Gov Snyder has been pushing this online education crap but, of course, the company that provides it is a private company. It's just another wedge in the destruction of public schools and the Republican agenda to privatize government services. Of course it takes money away from our most disadvantaged kids. In order to avail yourself of the online school you would need to come from a family that could afford a computer, high speed internet, and a stay-at-home parent.

    1. Anonymous9:41 AM

      Yep, exactly!

  9. Or rather than wasting state revenues flying legislators back and forth to Juneau, how about a virtual legislature? If the idea is good enough for kids, surely good enough for the legislature.

  10. Anonymous7:43 AM

    To defend my hometown for a second. There are lots of wasillans who did correspondence and are successful people. To all you who stalked teens years ago, many of the 08-09 aged kids took extra classes. People there know public education isn't the greatest. Why do you think Sarah's kids wanted to graduate early, aside from the bullies selling lies about them? They're by far not the only ones. Willows friends were in an honors program. I know 2 of them. These are all good people. I don't understand why they're judged. I gather it's solely out of political bullshit like it was in 08. Leave them alone. None of you will ever know them. Leave my town alone.

    1. Anonymous8:11 AM

      Oh my. And, precisely, how successful have Track, Bristol and Willow been so far? Let's face it. Many more successful people have attended public schools than have not.

    2. Anonymous9:47 AM

      What does Willow's friends education or if they were honor students have to do with no internet access over half your state?

      If you are from Wasyphillis and are an example of the people who live there I would get your water source tested.

  11. Anonymous8:17 AM

    An obese, white, Republican, Christian from Wasilla, Alaska that is discriminating against the first people of Alaska! Do we expect anything different from the majority of the folks that reside in Wasilla?

    The only difference this time is that the spokesman is an obese white female! Plus, she is arrogant and makes herself appear as 'better than'! Another woman that is an embarrassment to Alaska!

    She wants to 'down' educate our first people and continue in making them 'less than' people of Alaska!

    She needs to be taken out to the barn by someone and some sense discussed or beat into her! She is a scar upon this earth! Another racist in our midst!!!

  12. hedgewytch8:46 AM

    Don't discount her! She's is NOT alone in this notion. If the legislature raises the amount of students in schools that will result in at LEAST 60 rural schools being closed. Think about the reprocussions of that. What will the students do? Is the community capable of offering home schooling or corresspondence classes? What about adequate internet connection, something challenging to accomplish in remote communities. What about the families? Ship the kids off somewhere else? Leave the community? What about moth balling the schools? Who will take care of the buildings or will they be left to rot? There is SO much wrong with this notion of raising the student allocation for public schools in AK. Lynn Gattis can go suck an egg.

    1. Anonymous9:15 AM

      And what about the benefit of trained teachers interacting with their young students and noticing things like poor nutrition, poor health, and, worse yet, signs of abuse at home? In many communities, teachers are the first outside the family to notice issues that need to be dealt with. How will the internet "tubes" help the children?

      The GOP's war on teachers as well as their war on poor people is ongoing and neverending. And despicable.

    2. Chenagrrl4:56 PM

      Yeah! Back to the good old days of family separation, predators in Indian schools and lost lives.

    3. Anonymous8:26 PM

      Yup. Predator priests. I remember stories my Sioux boyfriend told me about assaults as a child,away at Indian boarding school.

  13. Chenagrrl8:50 AM

    Looks like Calvert Education and the Homeschooling biz are throwing $$ into her grift bag. Time to shine a bright light on who her contributors are.

  14. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Lynn's parenting style has a lot in common with the Palins.

    1. Anonymous3:14 PM

      Seems the homeschooling didn't work so well for her own son.

  15. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Lynn Gattis was not educated through correspondence school. She graduated from Cordova High School under her maiden name of Lynn Grediagan and her parents were teachers there. She was actually fairly smart and motivated and if I remember correctly she graduated as a Jr. She was actually a nice person and well liked.

    Somewhere along the line she decided that money was the only deciding factor for anything and she became a Republican. I'm fairly certain she believes this. She and her airline pilot husband own a LOT of rental properties in the Valley and she's at least acquainted with Sarah Palin and Kristen Cole if not friends with them. Don't recall her being a fundy Christian though.

    She has a son who has been in a lot of trouble.

    And she appears to have some legal and ethical faults in her own business dealings.

    1. Anonymous11:27 AM

      I've also heard that she and her husband are the largest property owners in the Valley.

    2. Chenagrrl4:55 PM

      Very tired of the corruption that gets written off as an oopsy. The borough should have known better. She's a clueless creep

  16. Frosty no longer AK10:58 AM

    They used to ship the village kids to Religious schools. Now that they actually HAVE public schools in the bush villages, they want to do away with them. In the eyes of the AK government, these kids are second class citizens.

    How many parents in these villages are educated enough to help the kids with their studies? For that matter, how many of them are educated enough to UNDERSTAND what their kids are being given to learn?

    It is all about corporate profits for private online education companies.

    1. Anonymous11:52 AM

      Mt. Edgecumbe was where a lot of native kids from all over Alaska went. It's actually a good school and I know many people who have attended there or are attending now. It's not all bad and is good for some kids. A friend's son is currently attending and it has been great for him. He was doing poorly at his hometown school and has really blossomed at Mt Edjcumbe. My mother in law and most of her family attended there and she had nothing but good to say about the school.

      Going away to boarding school (especially one so far from home) might not be for everyone, particularly younger students, but it can be a viable option for older students.

      Don't know what the best answer is. Much of Alaska is so spread out and remote. Maybe some regional hub schools where students can visit home more often? Maybe online courses combined with regular visits from a hands on teacher? It's easier to transport a teacher around than large groups of students.

      Part of the problem is the lack of a road system in remote Alaska. This causes unique problems. In other States, schools are made up of kids from different communities and bused to a hub school so the cost of schooling is reduced. Instead of three or four very small schools, there is one. But Alaska's lack of roads makes this not only impractical, but impossible.

      Alaska is not always going to be awash in oil money so creative solutions need to be looked at.

  17. I understand the internet access in most of Alaska is sucky and sporadic and there are plenty of areas that don't have any access at all.

    So is her cost cutting idea to simply deny students in rural areas access to a public education?

    Republican. Wasilla. Big surprise.

    Is she going to close all of the libraries too? Maybe burn the books for fuel?

  18. Anonymous8:17 PM

    More dumbing down for those who can least afford it.


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