Are online credit recovery courses effective?  A study in the Los Angeles Unified School District is being undertaken to find out if online classes that allow students to make up failed classes in order to graduate on time are making a difference. The study is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Soft SkillsThe American Institutes for Research will determine how the online classes for Algebra 1 and freshman English compare with the retaking of the classes in person.

“The growing use of online credit recovery for high school students has outpaced the research,” states the grant description. “As concerns mount over whether students actually learn in online courses, and as questions arise about how to best implement online credit recovery, there is a critical need for rigorous evidence about the effective use of online credit recovery for high school students.”

Since 2015, L.A. Unified has expanded both the online and in-person credit recovery  classes to achieve a goal of a 100% graduation rate. The concern that is growing is that not all graduates have the same level of knowledge in any given subject. The study will focus on approximately 3,000 students from 15 high schools. They will be sophomores in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years who failed Algebra 1 or English 9.

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