Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 97. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:37 PM for 15h 20m 21s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 46.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1942, a Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by Japan against the United States mainland.
In Madison, parents are removing students from St. Maria Goretti, a prekindergarten through eighth-grade school, over changes in curriculum. Although the departures are over changes in Catholic teaching, the enrollment declines show the willingness of parents (whether religious or secular) to leave a program they don’t like. Where fifty years ago one might have expected parents to endure changes they didn’t abide by, that’s not true now. In either Catholic or public schools, families will walk if they don’t like what’s happening and they can find an alternative.
Chris Ricket reports that for St. Maria Goretti
Exact figures are hard to come by, but enrollment for the 2022-23 year is projected to be between 100 and 120, down from more than 400 during the 2020-21 year and about 330 at the beginning of 2021-22, according to parish or former parish members. [Principal Bob] Schell said enrollment last school year was about 300 but declined to speculate about what it would be next year, saying “much can happen during the summer months.”
The school had 40 staffers most recently, Schell said, and next year there were will be somewhere around 14, to align with reduced enrollment.
The pandemic pushed some Whitewater families and students to become more vocal (on both sides of the debate about masks), but parents, generally, were becoming more assertive long before the pandemic.
Madison has many alternatives, but also in Whitewater, parents (especially those living on the edges of the district) have choices elsewhere for their children. Open enrollment for public school students is a good policy, as it gives families some choices they would not otherwise have if bound only to their home community’s schools. That good policy means that public schools have to try harder to retain students.
One would prefer to retain as many students as possible, but retaining students because those families have no choices for their children harms both families and the schools from which they cannot leave.
Trapped in a bad arrangement is bad educational policy.
See also The Power and Value of Open Enrollment.