Online learning is the end of the world as we know it



Critics of online learning seem unable to keep their criticisms straight. One minute COOLS are the end of the world as we know it because all the poor, disadvantaged, struggling kids will be enrolled with them and left to fail without the help of ” real teachers” but then…

Thinking about enrolling your child in an online school? No problem if you can afford to pay for it.

While that creates inequity in the state schooling system, it’s nothing new, says the Ministry of Education.

So now the inequality is not that the poor, disadvantaged kids will be left to rot on COOLS but that the rich, privileged kids will be the only ones lucky enough to have access to them! The only thing that is actually clear about the teacher unions’ position on COOLS is that they are against them.

In August Education Minister Hekia Parata announced school-age students would be able to enrol in an accredited online learning provider instead of attending school.

She did NOT say instead of, she made it very clear it was in addition to but the media are clearly not interested in presenting the facts on this matter. COOLS mean that a school can offer subjects that they previously could not offer to students due to a lack of specialist teachers. Languages would be a prime example. No school can offer every language but with COOLs a wide range of language options would be possible.

Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins says COOLs aren’t the answer to a teacher supply shortage in some subject areas.

Making a statement without backing it up with facts is no argument at all. Clearly COOLS are?able to provide subjects that individual schools cannot. That is a fact.

…Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins said it’s clear the “Kiwi promise of a free school education for all our kids has been abandoned by the National government”.

If COOLS are bad as the teacher unions and Chris Hipkins say they are then surely it doesn’t matter if poor kids’ families can’t afford them?If they can’t afford them then they will be taught by ” real ” teachers. It is clear that any excuse to attack COOLS is being used regardless of the inconsistency of its critics?arguments.

“National clearly don’t care about equity, given they’ve received advice that allowing COOLs to charge will mean parents who can afford to pay get more options for their kids education.”

But Parata said COOLs weren’t mandatory and would “add to the options available”.

“The New Zealand schooling system is diverse and offers a wide variety of choice for parents, including the options of a free state education, an integrated school education with attendance dues, a private school education with private school fees, and various supplementary tutoring options offered by the private sector.”

The July report also noted issues around setting performance or outcome targets for COOLs.

“It’s likely they’ll choose only to enrol or provide tuition for selected students likely to achieve highly,” the ministry said.

Hipkins said providers choosing who they enrol, combined with the ability to charge fees, could lead to a “private sector responding to those likely to succeed and who are able to pay and a state sector providing for low socio-economic and at-risk students”.

Parata said…

registered teachers would “continue to be the heart of our education system” but COOLs would also allow students to learn from people with “specialist skills who may not be registered teachers”.

…Using COOLs where the ministry said there is a “dearth in the supply of registered teachers” was clearly the Government “giving up on addressing critical shortages in core subject areas like Maths, Science and Te Reo”, Hipkins said.

– Stuff