Proof that online high school can work: My daughter
Washingtonpost.com. (May 15, 2018)
COPYRIGHT 2018 The Washington Post
David Von Drehle is a columnist for the Washington Post. In the following viewpoint, Von Drehle explores the potential advantages of online education, specifically for high school students who have few other options for completing their secondary education.
Full Text of Article:
For months I have been reading and writing about the poisoning of social media, the perils of unregulated drones and assorted other dangers posed by rampant technology. So I was delighted to see the pro side of progress during a visit to Southeast Kansas.
It was Mother’s Day afternoon. An unusually persistent winter in the Midwest had turned to summer with hardly a mention of spring. In the fields around town — birthplace of Walter Johnson, the greatest pitcher in Washington baseball history (sorry, Mr. Scherzer) — soybean plants by the thousands had peeped warily from the warming earth to begin climbing toward the glare of the sun. Near the town square, inside Humboldt Community Fieldhouse, 60 students in black gowns and mortarboards waited patiently through speeches for the chance to collect their high school diplomas.
The bleachers were filled with proud family and friends. But this wasn’t a group that grew up together through ballgames and choir concerts. Alienated from traditional high schools, seeking an alternative, they found the Humboldt Virtual Education Program, one of the largest and best-regarded online high schools in the Sunflower State. After months, even years, of solitary study in Internet classrooms, they gathered as a physical community for the first, and probably the last, time.
Across the United States, online education is booming. Sixth-through-12th-graders enrolled in Florida’s largest full-time virtual high school completed more than 44,000 semesters of classwork last year. In Kansas, virtual school enrollment grew 100-fold between 1999 and 2014, from about 60 students to more than 6,000.
Perhaps inevitably, controversy has followed the growth. Some educators worry that online schools are inherently inferior to traditional classrooms with their flesh-and-blood teachers and peer-group teamwork. I agree that the trend requires close monitoring; at this point, quality research is still sparse. But one widely cited study for Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government found that a well-run virtual school can match outcomes of brick-and-mortar institutions.
To Jody Siebenmorgen, director of the Humboldt virtual high school, comparing her program with traditional schools misses the crucial fact. Her students have tried the old model, and it didn’t work for them. “A lot of my students were expelled from their local schools, and neighboring schools won’t take them,” she told me. “I work with 14 different probation officers. I also work with some gifted students who are bored stiff in their schools and just want to finish quickly and move on to greater challenges. I work with students in foster care. I work with a lot of teen moms juggling school and child care. I work with students who are battling illnesses that prevent them from going to school. I once had a student who received a double lung transplant, and she attended high school on a laptop in bed at Children’s Mercy Hospital.”
And Siebenmorgen’s program enrolls some 200 adults who left school without graduating only to discover that a diploma is essential in today’s world. When the Kansas legislature weighed whether to eliminate funding for adult virtual education, Siebenmorgen traveled to Topeka to share the story of a Walmart worker in Iola whose GED certificate was preventing him from moving up in management.
As I scanned the gymnasium floor, I couldn’t help thinking of my own high school graduation some 40 years earlier. In those days, few alternatives existed for students turned off by bell schedules, crowded lunchrooms and teen drama. The 20th-century school was designed in a time when the majority of Americans did not finish 12th grade. Yet we took for granted that it could work for everyone, in an age of the indispensable diploma. It was not just the best model but the only model.
Thankfully, we’ve begun to appreciate that students aren’t stamped from a single mold. Some do their best learning at their own pace and rhythm. This awakening is surely one reason more Americans are finishing high school: The dropout rate fell from 11 percent to 6 percent between 2000 and 2015, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Well-run virtual education programs are part of that success. Educators with up-close experience of at-risk students understand this — which is why Humboldt’s virtual school includes the daughter of a traditional school principal. And the daughter of a newspaper columnist. When the nontraditional learner in my family gripped her diploma proudly and gave Siebenmorgen a tearful hug, she became one of more than 400 alumni of a little Kansas town’s very big idea, with hundreds more in the pipeline.
These aren’t students normally celebrated with trophies and scholarships. But I would not bet against them. In an age of constant change, they’ve seized tools offered by technology and put them to good use. Instead of dropping out, they stepped up, toward a future that will favor those who see and grab new possibilities. An hour after they marched in, they sailed forth on the stream of lifelong learning, which promises to take them far.
Source Citation (MLA 8th Edition)
Von Drehle, David. “Proof that online high school can work: My daughter.”
Washingtonpost.com, 15 May 2018. Global Issues in Context. Accessed 6 Feb. 2019.
Online Courses Fail Those Who Need Help
The New York Times. (Jan. 21, 2018)
COPYRIGHT 2018 The New York Times Company
Susan Dynarski is a professor of public policy, education, and economics at the University of Michigan. In the following viewpoint, Dynarski argues that online education courses offered by high schools, colleges, and universities primarily benefit students with already strong academic skills and knowledge while failing many of the underperforming students whom they are designed to serve.
Full Text of Article:
A single teacher can reach thousands of students in an online course, opening up a world of knowledge to anyone with an internet connection. This limitless reach also offers substantial benefits for school districts that need to save money, by reducing the number of teachers.
But in high schools and colleges, there is mounting evidence that the growth of online education is hurting a critical group: the less proficient students who are precisely those most in need of skilled classroom teachers.
Online courses can be broken down into several categories, and some are more effective than others.
In ”blended” courses, for example, students don’t do their work only online: They also spend time in a classroom with a flesh-and-blood teacher. Research suggests that students — at nearly all levels of achievement — do just as well in these blended classes as they do in traditional classrooms. In this model, online resources supplement traditional instruction but don’t replace it.
In the fully online model, on the other hand, a student may never be in the same room with an instructor. This category is the main problem. It is where less proficient students tend to run into trouble. After all, taking a class without a teacher requires high levels of self-motivation, self-regulation and organization. Yet in high schools across the country, students who are struggling in traditional classrooms are increasingly steered into online courses.
For example, in so-called credit recovery programs, many students who have flunked a course in an old-fashioned classroom retake the class online. The negative consequences may not be obvious at first, because the pass rates in these courses are very high and students who take them tend to graduate from high school instead of flunking out. What could be wrong with that?
But there is something wrong with it. In reality, students who complete these courses tend to do quite poorly on subsequent tests of academic knowledge. This suggests that these online recovery courses often give students an easy passing grade without teaching them very much.
Consider a study conducted in the Chicago high schools. Students who had failed algebra were randomly assigned either to online or to face-to-face recovery courses. The results were clear: Students in the online algebra courses learned much less than those who worked with a teacher in a classroom.
Online courses have many real benefits, of course. They can help high achievers in need of more advanced coursework than their districts provide through other means. This is especially true in small, rural districts that offer few specialized, traditional courses for students working ahead of their grades.
A study in Maine and Vermont examined the effect of online courses on eighth graders with strong math skills in schools that didn’t offer face-to-face algebra classes. Students were randomly assigned either to online algebra or to the less challenging, standard math offered in traditional classes.
Both groups of students were tested at the end of the school year. The online algebra students did substantially better than their counterparts in standard classrooms. They were also twice as likely to complete advanced math later in high school.
In colleges, especially in nonselective and for-profit schools, online education has expanded rapidly, too, with similar effects. These schools disproportionately enroll low-income students who are often the first in their families to attend college. Such students tend to drop out of college at very high rates. Students with weak preparation don’t fare well in online college classes, as recent research by professors at Harvard and Stanford shows.
These scholars examined the performance of hundreds of thousands of students at DeVry University, a large for-profit college with sites across the country. DeVry offers online and face-to-face versions of all its courses, using the same textbooks, assessments, assignments and lecture materials in each format. Even though the courses are seemingly identical, the students who enroll online do substantially worse.
The effects are lasting, with online students more likely to drop out of college altogether. Hardest hit are those who entered the online class with low grades. Work by researchers in many other colleges concurs with the DeVry findings: The weakest students are hurt most by the online format.
For those with strong academic skills, by contrast, online learning can open up amazing opportunities.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a set of free, online courses in the economics of developing countries. Students who perform well in these classes can apply for a face-to-face master’s program in economics at M.I.T. In fact, the online courses are the sole route into this special degree program. With online credit, students need to spend only one semester in Cambridge to graduate.
The M.I.T. approach reverses the high school model in which students who fail in a face-to-face class are shifted into a more challenging online format. In M.I.T.’s program, students must first demonstrate that they can tough it out in an online class. Only then are they admitted to a rigorous, face-to-face master’s program.
Online education is still in its youth. Many approaches are possible, and some may ultimately benefit students with deep and diverse needs. As of now, however, the evidence is clear. For advanced learners, online classes are a terrific option, but academically challenged students need a classroom with a teacher’s support.
Source Citation (MLA 8th Edition)
Dynarski, Susan. “Online Courses Fail Those Who Need Help.” New York Times,
21 Jan. 2018, p. 3(L). Global Issues in Context. Accessed 6 Feb. 2019.
***The content above is the articles the compare and contrast essay needs to be about. My professor wants at least two quotes from the article. the assignment is to the strong article and to explain why the article is stronger than the other.
Compare & Contrast Essay Outline
Engaging 1st words:
Thesis: The article written by __________________ presents a stronger argument than the article written by _____________________ because it ____________________________________, _______________________________, and ________________________________________.
BODY PARAGRAPH 1 Topic sentence:
BODY PARAGRAPH 2 Topic sentence:
BODY PARAGRAPH 3 Topic sentence:
and a work cited page.
*Each paragraph needs to have a minimum of 8 sentences.