Part 1 of Doug Sovern’s KCBS Cover Story series on online high school classes. | Part 2 | Part 3
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – High school graduation rates are hitting record highs in the Bay Area and across the nation, but earning a diploma doesn’t always equal getting an education. An increasing number of students make up courses they’ve failed by taking classes online. They earn credits, but not necessarily knowledge.
Educators trumpet the numbers: 78% of high school kids graduating in California. 82% in San Francisco. 84% in San Jose Unified. The highest rates in history. But, as many as half clutching that high school sheepskin still don’t really know their math or English and aren’t ready for college.
“Districts are finding a way to get kids through in an inexpensive manner,” warned Mike Cooper, former principal of both Encinal High School and Island Continuation High School in Alameda. According to Cooper, that includes replacing summer school with online education, using programs such as Cyber High or Odyssey.