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Friday, January 16, 2015

Does Duval have Edgenuity or Eduinsanity?

Edgenuity is a computer program that the district is using to satisfy high school students requirement that they have to take one on-line class, they are primarily using it for government classes . Sounds good right, well here are the problems.

First kids are taking it at the same time they are taking their brick and mortar government classes. They are taking both together as kind of a hybrid class. Which seems to me they are not getting the full benefit of either but what do I know. The program, was sold as a supplement initially for the classes but that morphed into teachers next semester having to use it a set amount  (51% of the time). The reason being, I imagine is because crossing that threshold makes students eligible for the on-line credit.

The program did not go live until about six weeks into the school year, and the determination that it could be used to satisfy the requirement wasn't made until a couple weeks after that according to the Government teachers that contacted me.

There was back and fourth with the district if Government teachers would have to fail kids, regardless of their in class grades if they didn't meet the 51% completion of the computer program. At first I am told they were told to fail kids but as of a couple days ago the district has dialed that back making it optional for teachers. Optional.

I think the districts heart is in the right place on this one, letting kids take their on-line classes for free and during school when they are most likely to do it, even if that kind of messes with the spirit of the law,  the problem is they gave teachers mixed answers and directions about how much to use it and what it was going to be used for  and if teachers are going to have employment and pay decisions based on how they teach and what the kids learn is it really fair to make them use a computer program they may or may not be giving the kids what they need to be successful.

Maybe all this is just growing pains of a district trying to help kids out with their on-line requirement or maybe it's symptomatic of a district which is having terrible communication problems, the fact they are on their second high schools social studies person this year can't help, and that seems to be making things up as they go along.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately this is symptomatic of a much deeper problem, which is the managerial style of the Chief of Academic Services. He has insisted that academic directors route all communication with principals through him. That means directors send him essential information schools need to know, but since that is too much for one person, communications from directors to principals sit for weeks on his desk waiting for his attention. Decisions are held up until the last minute, which leaves schools scrambling to comply. People are left out of the loop so they cannot perform their functions of improving what happens at the school. One wonders if the problems at the top are merely growing pains or simply the manifestation of the good ol' boy/girl network that has plagued this district for decades. As the big cheeses try to out maneuver each other, squeeze out lower levels for their own people, the schools and the students suffer. One wonders if Dr. Vitti is in charge anymore or whether a palace coup has taken place. NV is himself known for sudden, unanticipated decisions that roil communities and their schools. Remember open enrollment? The conceit is that they can turn the organization on a dime. The problem is DCPS is huge. The captain of the Exxon Valdez thought the same, but when they woke him up 20 minutes before his oil tanker hit the reef, it was already too late. The ship's momentum carried it into the worst environmental disaster of our lifetime.