“Strapped District Plans to Add Online Classes,” from the New York Times:
“Budget cuts have eliminated about 95 full-time teachers from the school district [in Manchester, New Hampshire] here over the past year, swelling class sizes and prompting parents to cry foul.
“‘We had students sitting on the floor with a clipboard,’ said Jim O’Connell, the president of the Parent-Teacher Organization at Hillside Middle School. ‘It’s one degree separated from a 1700s classroom with chalk and a slate.’
“Officials, seeking an overhaul, began to wonder if a 21st-century technology might help allay their struggles: having some students take courses online during the school day, without a teacher physically present.
“But a plan to institute ‘blended learning labs,’ which allow students to do just that, is stoking concern among parents and teachers. Some doubt the efficacy of online learning. Others say the proposed solution barely scratches the surface of systemic problems here.
“‘It’s smoke and mirrors; it’s a high-tech baby sitter,’ said David Fischer, a community college instructor who has two children set to attend Central High School next year…”