Course Choice: An emerging educational option

By Paul Dauphin
An emerging option in the educational choice landscape is course choice. The Evergreen Education Group’s annual Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning provides an overview of the nation’s digital learning landscape. Seven states, including Louisiana, offer course choice programs that allow one or more online courses from a provider other than the student’s district of enrollment.
During the 2014-15 school year, Louisiana reported 19,068 course choice enrollments. Created as part of Governor Bobby Jindal’s education reform legislative package in 2012, Louisiana Course Choice provides families and students the ability to select from hundreds of online and face-to-face courses not traditionally offered by high schools and middle schools.
The Keeping Pace report concluded that more students have access to even more types of digital learning than ever before, with digital learning options available in a rapidly expanding range of forms. However, wide gaps remain in the availability of digital learning. There are vast differences among schools in the availability of technology, data communications capabilities, and digital content and tools.
Even with challenges, the future of digital learning, including course choice, is exciting and offers an opportunity for students to truly customize their education to fit their unique needs and interests.

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