State education program upends public school model

Sep 10, 2012

Louisiana's education department is soliciting ideas from nontraditional places, seeking to offer students new academic courses, skills training and work-based apprenticeships outside of public school classrooms.

The new "Course Choice" program will begin in fall 2013, after state education leaders choose from among the many applications from contracting groups, online course providers and colleges seeking state tax dollars to teach public school students.

Supporters of the program say it will help students get college credit, advanced placement courses or technical training to better prepare them for life after high school graduation.

Critics say the law has too few protections to ensure that courses are legitimate and that the state isn't getting ripped off. They are trying to get the law thrown out as unconstitutional.