Online, for Some Reason

Indiana is working on a plan to force all high school students to take an online course before they can graduate from high school. According to an article by Bill McCleery at the Indianapolis Star:

Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction wants all Hoosier students to take one course online before graduating from high school.

Tony Bennett will propose legislation to that effect — a way to incorporate technology into his reform agenda — in his second annual State of Education speech at 6 tonight at the Indiana History Center. “Technology will continue to be a driving force in education and in our economy,” Bennett said. “We have to make sure our students are prepared to flourish and prosper in that environment.”

It’s unclear how one online course will ensure Indiana students are prepared to flourish and prosper a in technological environment.

The use of online courses has been growing across the nation. Some 27 percent of high school students took online courses last year.

School districts, for the most part, don’t require students to take online courses in order to develop their technological skills—many online courses don’t really require that much technology beyond an Internet connection—so much because as it’s a cheap way for school districts to administer courses. “It’s too costly to pay a teacher to teach three kids AP calculus,” one Indiana school administrator explained.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer