Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Does anyone think this is a good idea?

15 Chicago schools could see longer days
Pilot program would add 90 minutes of online education using nonteachers


In an effort to extend what is one of the nation's shortest school days, Chicago Public Schools plans to add 90 minutes to the schedules of 15 elementary schools using online courses and nonteachers, sources said.

By employing nonteachers at a minimal cost to oversee the students, the district can save money and get around the teachers' contract...

The program's cost is expected to exceed $10 million, the majority of which will be spent on capital improvements like technological infrastructure, wiring and broadband, a source said...
I need to see more about this, but it doesn't pass the "on-the-face-of-it" test. For those of us concerned about quality in online education, this doesn't sound like it's an effort to improve student learning, just something to extend the "seat time" mentality of judging learning.

I hope there's more to it than it appears with this article. The journalist adds a nice sentence at the end of the article which is basically accurate:
While there is limited research regarding the effectiveness of online schools, what is out there is largely positive. In some cases, research has shown that online learning can be better than face-to-face instruction.
but I'm not sure how it applies to the program in Chicago.