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More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality

April 6, 2011

This is an interesting article published recently in the New York Times.  My first response is that I believe there are good online courses that provide a wonderful supplement to what a student is already doing with his/her teachers. But, this article describes the use of online courses to save money for school districts faced with staggering budget deficits. I don’t think there are any easy answers for how to balance a budget and provide quality education for students, but I would hope school districts are able to come up with a means to provide a quality education for all students and not just those students who come from districts where adequate school funding is available.  This problem is not going to go away in the near future and may prompt a reconsideration of how we fund schools and what we want in terms of a society for EVERY student in our nation.

Class time at Whitehaven High in Memphis, where every student must take a course online.


Jack London was the subject in Daterrius Hamilton’s online English 3 course. In a high school classroom packed with computers, he read a brief biography of London with single-paragraph excerpts from the author’s works. But the curriculum did not require him, as it had generations of English students, to wade through a tattered copy of “Call of the Wild” or “To Build a Fire.” More…

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