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Updated: Monday, 08 Oct 2012, 9:42 AM MDT
Published : Monday, 08 Oct 2012, 8:53 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Public Schools may start rejecting some of the online courses students take to meet the district's standards if a new proposal passes at Tuesday's board meeting.
This proposal is getting a fair amount of criticism from charter schools who use online classes.
Many of APS students are turning to charter schools to make up missed credits, and the most convenient way to do that is online.
Some APS board members worry online classes could be just a quick credit as opposed to attending the actual class.
Last year nearly 400 APS students turned to online courses at the Southwest Learning Centers, a charter school specializing in online learning.
"Virtual classes help students because they allow them the flexibility to do the courses at their own pace on their own time," said Denise Dixon an online teacher at the charter school.
She explained a majority of her students are involved in athletics or extracurricular activities and they either need the extra time an online class frees up or the extra boost to maintain their required grade point averages.
Leanne Duree's daughter is a perfect example of how online classes help students. Being a transfer student who attends Eldorado High School, Duree's daughter was missing a required APS credit she didn't want to make up with summer school..
"This was an alternative," Duree explained. "She's an athlete so she wanted to play basketball next summer, so this was a way she could make up this credit and still graduate with her class."
The new proposal could mean her online course would not count.
It states credits would only be accepted from APS approved schools or districts.
Students must be enrolled in the course before the second semester of their senior year, and might have to pass an additional APS test to prove they learned the material.
Some online teachers believe these new requirements are unnecessary.
"The directives are very arbitrary," said Dixon. "They seem to be very random. There's not a lot of specifics. There's no definition of what a reasonably available courses are or reasonably available amount of time is."
KRQE News 13 reached out to APS for comment on this story but board members did not return our calls.
The proposal follows an incident last year where an APS student paid $200 for an online class to graduate. The student was logged in for 56 hours over a single weekend and earned a "C", he was allowed to graduate.
The school board is taking public comment on the proposal and is expected to vote on it at their next committee meeting on Tuesday.