How schools got hooked on online learning to boost graduation rates

How schools got hooked on online learning to boost graduation rates

Nearly a decade ago, state officials decreed that starting in 2009, graduation data would factor into the letter grades assigned to individual schools. The stakes were high: Consecutive failing marks meant that the state could mandate major changes, like replacing the school’s principal; significant improvement translated into extra cash for perks like teacher bonuses and athletic equipment. The policy change worried Reginald James, then the superintendent of the Gadsden County School District in the Florida Panhandle. By 2010, Gadsden’s graduation rate had fallen to a bleak 43 percent. So at the…

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