Summertime, and the credits come easy

In the D.C. suburbs, students can make up lost credits — but not raise their grades — by taking online courses that can be completed in a few days. From the Washington Post:

The program is student-driven. Students take a diagnostic exam and are then taken through a series of lessons based on material they have not mastered. They are tested after each tutorial. They work at their own pace — some complete the course work in a few days. Students can repeat the tests until they pass and are allowed to use the Internet for help. Teachers roam the classroom to offer assistance.

. . . School officials said the system saves about $13,000 by using the computer program for 100 students, as opposed to hiring instructors and holding traditional classes.

The program is free to students. By contrast, summer school costs $425.

Meanwhile, New York City students take summer school classes to “get serious” and earn diplomas, reports the New York Times.

Via Education Gadfly.

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  1. Margo/Mom says:

    We have this in our district. It’s too bad, but it is just the logical next step following what was already in place. Students who failed a class typically had two options–one was to take it at night (at a separate “adult school” location) or to take it over in summer school. Both were academically weak. Some students would purposely take classes this way to get through easily. The computer option is only available to students who have failed (ie met the state’s “seat time” requirement). As I see it the situation is being driven by the economics, the number of students failing classes to begin with and the number of teachers who don’t care how many kids fail, and the number of teachers who have no interest in teaching summer school.

    I would love to have rich academic summer options available. That would be money well-spent. Near as I can tell, this is what the district is reporting to the state as the “intervention” that is required for students who do poorly on state tests. How about some Bolder Broader Education efforts?