Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beating the System
An inspiring example of problem-solving in education: A Florida law mandates that classroom sizes in K-12 be reduced. But hey that would require spending money on, you know, teachers and buildings and such, so school systems there did what any honorable institution devoted to children would do: they found a loophole, and shoved the kids right through.
[V]irtual classrooms, called e-learning labs, were put in place last August as a result of Florida’s Class Size Reduction Amendment, passed in 2002. The amendment limits the number of students allowed in classrooms, but not in virtual labs.
Alix Braun, 15, a sophomore at Miami Beach High, takes Advanced Placement macroeconomics in an e-learning lab with 35 to 40 other students. There are 445 students enrolled in the online courses at her school...

School administrators said that they had to find a way to meet class-size limits. Jodi Robins, the assistant principal of curriculum at Miami Beach High, said that even if students struggled in certain subjects, the virtual labs were necessary because “there’s no way to beat the class-size mandate without it.”
E-learning labs bring the additional virtue of not having a pesky teacher running around trying to get kids to understand things. There is merely a "facilitator" keeping them on task and making sure the equipment works properly. Many of the schools gave parents and students no option and no notice. They just showed up for pre-calculus and there was just a room with a bunch of computers.

1 comment:

stevie t said...

Sounds like the pressure I was under to cut costs to Toyota, back when I was in the auto industry. If you can't reduce your costs, and it was hard for us little suppliers, then you cut quality, manufacture where labor is cheap (Mexico, China), or anything else you can do. This mentality from up top cannot just be transferred to the education and healthcare industries, but idiots up top demand it anyway.