Physical education is one of 27 online courses now offered by the Minneapolis Public Schools, which had none four years ago. Thousands of other districts nationwide are adding online courses, said Susan Patrick, director of educational technology at the federal Department of Education.
“We’re seeing just tremendous growth,” Ms. Patrick said, “in enrollments and in the kinds of courses offered.”
In a survey, the department estimated that there were 328,000 student enrollments in online courses offered by public schools during the 2002-3 year. Ms. Patrick said enrollments had probably doubled since then.
This is a great example of the “out of the box – non same service thinking” that is required today. Johnny’s post illustrate’s the District’s same service financial challenges:
- Revenue caps limit spending growth (though Madison spends $13K+ per student, among the highest in Wisconsin)
- A “same service” budget approach has reached its’ limit.
- Choices need to be made, one of which could be growth in virtual tools.
Virtual programs may, in some cases and for some students, be far more effective. We all use virtual learning tools daily. I believe our children will increasingly do so as well.