San Diego Unified is not the only district to grapple with reconciling No Child Left Behind with online classes. Others have found ways to do it:

  • A similar program in Omaha schools assigns students a teacher who is licensed in each subject, sometimes corresponding over e-mail instead of face-to-face.
  • Poway schools run a Mission to Graduate program at their alternative school, Abraxas. While alternative schools get some leeway with teacher credentials under California law, the school still tries to link each student with a teacher who is licensed in the subject they are taking. Some are instructed from afar by credentialed teachers who hold webinars, live chats and other interactive lessons. They also have coaches who work with them as motivators.

“We strongly believe that a student can’t be given an online course and left to do it alone,” said Andrew Shean, an instructional technology specialist in Poway schools.

  • An online charter school, Insight School of California, uses credentialed teachers who teach classes through live online sessions and grade assignments and who pass muster under No Child Left Behind.

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