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November 8, 2012
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Letter to the Editor: Skeptical of proposed charter school

Concerning the proposed The Clark School, there are many problems with launching a charter school in a community this small. As a science teacher here at Incline High School, one problem I am concerned with is the actual degree of mastery among the students taking online courses.

A year or so ago, I asked Ms. Kathryn Kelly how well the online students were mastering their subjects. She assured me they were doing very well, even suggesting the learning was superior to that from the courses we teach in the classroom. I asked how she would know this since no standardized assessment is given to these students to compare them with students from our own classes. Again she claimed they were learning at a high level and that she knew this because they were passing the online courses quickly and with high grades. Indeed, I'm sure they were, but not for the right reasons.

All of this is not only blatantly anecdotal, but strong evidence exists, both at our school as well as nationwide, that students are not learning anywhere near as well as those in traditional classes with highly qualified teachers. The charter application says they will be using "neuroscience based instruction" and "artificial intelligence-based ... assessments in math."

I suspect this pseudo-scientific babble was intended to impress those of us who are not familiar with this subject, but all I can do is laugh.

Steve Brown

Incline Village

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 8, 2012 12:36PM Published Nov 8, 2012 12:35PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.