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#26 2020-02-02 10:12:02

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,766

Re: Virtual Mars Expedition

tahanson43206 wrote:

As a reminder, when operating in conjunction with an established education program in a US school, this process would (probably) qualify as an elective, with approval by the governing team in the school.

Budget cuts to many a school district have led to cutting out of elective classes in language arts, shop whether in wood or metals, foriegn languages, sports programs and more just to keep from rising the communities tax rates. 
Some of this comes back to those which are in special needs in which federal dollars are not enough to offset that requirement for educating thoses not normal or with comprehension issues for the cookie cutter methods used to teach the material with.


#27 2020-02-02 13:13:56

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,819

Re: Virtual Mars Expedition

For SpaceNut re #26

As often happens here, I find an observation made in a post takes me in a direction I'd not explored before.  That is certainly the case in your note about electives.

I found the article at the link below helpful in coming up to date as of 2018.  The article concluded with the thought that the public can fund electives through non-tax pathways, and it gave an example of one started by a superintendent who note the loss of funding for elective courses such as music. … e-programs

As the article points out, schools in wealthy districts can still afford elective course in the US.

However, I would like to see the Virtual Mars Expedition available to every student who is interested and capable of hold up under a two year sustained commitment.

I think the answer lies in flexibility.  Where a school district can afford to support the program in the form of an elective activity for school credit, then that would be something I'd like to see happen.  However, for a school district which is stretched to the breaking point, then the connection with the school is not needed, if a sponsor can be found to sustain the very modest cost of a server, and can secure volunteer support on the education side.

I tried to get an idea of how many schools still over elective courses in the US, and the results seemed unhelpful.  I did find one data point ... a state with 170 school districts now offers electives in only 100 of them.



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