Classroom Technology

Michigan Pushes E-Learning Options

By McClatchy-Tribune — October 17, 2011 1 min read

The Michigan Department of Education isn’t waiting for the legislature to increase online options for students.

The department has released guidelines that allow more middle school students to take all classes online and some districts to open more virtual charter schools, among other changes that expand online options.

The new guidelines are in response to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s push for the legislature to remove rules that cap some online enrollment. Although the state education department has the power to give districts flexibility, the legislature would need to act to completely remove restrictions. “We agree with the governor that this is a good thing for students,” says Barb Fardell, a manager in the state Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation.

Online education already is big in the state. The Michigan Virtual High School expanded to nearly 15,000 courses taken from 100 a decade ago.

Kimberley McLaren-Kennedy, 17, of West Bloomfield, began taking all online classes during the 2010-11 school year at Avondale Academy in Auburn Hills. She has become a believer in online education.

“It’ll work for students who have the motivation in themselves and the discipline,” she says. “But if they’re lazy, I don’t think it will work for them.”

The 3,750-student Avondale district is one of 171—out of the 800 districts and charter schools in the state—that already provide expanded options for middle and high school students to take many or all classes online.

New guidelines are going to make it easier for far more Michigan students to take all or most of their classes online.

State law limits students to two online classes a semester, and the districts and charter schools that allow students to take more operate under special waivers from the Michigan Department of Education. But those waivers are limited, in most cases only allowing 25 percent of a school’s population to take all or most classes online.

The new guidelines allow districts to apply for new waivers that are intended to be more flexible, and for the state’s 57 intermediate school districts to apply to create virtual charter schools for up to 10 percent of students who reside in their geographic boundaries.

A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as Michigan Pushes E-Learning Options

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology School District Leaders Are Still Worried About Home Internet Access for Students
Schools have scaled-up their efforts to help more kids get online, according to a new survey, but concerns remain about tech equity.
2 min read
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework in her Chicago home after a day of virtual school in February.
Shafkat Anowar/AP
Classroom Technology Teachers: Here Are Tips for Using Your New 'Geeky' Skills to Improve Classroom Management
How educators can use the lessons of the pandemic to reshape classroom management for next school year and beyond.
6 min read
A group of people manage a complicated problem
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
Classroom Technology Lessons Learned From Teachers About How to Develop New Technology Skills
Two teachers who learned new technology skills during the pandemic share how they think schools should rethink professional development.
6 min read
A self-learning teacher looks beyond their computer screen
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
Classroom Technology Opinion Getting Ed Tech Wrong Would Be a Bitter Pandemic Legacy
Bad ed-tech habits that formed during the shutdown risk compromising instruction and even slowing the return to school next fall.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty