Learning centers with online curricula and “mentors” instead of teachers are attracting students — mostly in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods — reports the Rocky Mountain News. Opened two years ago, Hope Co-Op Online Learning Academy now enrolls more than 3,800 students in 79 centers run by contractors. Vilas, a tiny district in southeast Colorado issued the charter and supplies online lessons.
Students follow a curriculum provided by Vilas over the Internet, with one-on-one help from the mentors.
Some of the centers, however, devote more than half the school day to traditional instruction, including class discussion and reading from books.
Parents say their kids get a lot more attention in the centers.
A reporter took an online eighth-grade math test to judge its difficulty. He passed on the third try with a minimum score of 80 percent. That may say more about the reporter than the test: He didn’t know how to subtract negative numbers. There are a lot of journalists with poor math skills, but that’s pathetic.