[NHDOE-ETNews] ET News: New Course Access Report from iNACOL Outlines Strategies to Increase Equity and Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Thu Oct 9 10:55:09 EDT 2014

Today on the ETNews Listserv
ITEM:  New Course Access Report from iNACOL Outlines Strategies to Increase Equity and Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students

According to recent U.S. Department of Education data, today, too many students lack access to all of the classes they would need to get into college. Students who attend rural, urban, or under-resourced schools often lack access to advanced science and math classes, college preparatory courses, foreign language classes, career/technical classes in high-demand job sectors, or other specialized subjects taught by expert teachers.

The numbers are alarming. Across the United States, less than two-thirds of high schools offer physics. Only about half of high schools offer Calculus. Among high schools that serve the largest percentages of African-American and Latino students - one in four do not offer Algebra II and one in three do not offer Chemistry. These courses are essential for any student who wants to pursue a career in engineering or other STEM fields. On average, African-American, Latino, and low-income students have less access to Advanced Placement courses and gifted and talented programs than other students.

One way to level the playing field is Course Access.

Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students<https://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/iNACOL-Course-Access-Equitable-Opportunities-for-College-and-Career-Ready-Students.pdf>, a new report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), describes a state-level policy solution that provides all students with equitable access to a variety of courses in a programmatic effort to increase access, quality and equity in public education.

"Course Access programs provide students and families with access to a variety of supplemental online, blended, and face-to-face academic, career, and technical education courses necessary to their future success," said Maria Worthen, iNACOL's Vice President for Federal and State Policy. "A key strategy for expanding student learning opportunities is providing a greater variety of academic options and pathways."

Course Access - a state-led support for schools and school districts - provides public school students with expanded course offerings across learning environments from diverse, accountable providers.

iNACOL's report helps policymakers and educators alike consider ways to make Course Access work in their state, shares how Course Access works for students and schools, offers recommendations for the creation of high-quality state Course Access policies, identifies essential elements of a Course Access program, and offers model legislative principals for Course Access legislation.

"iNACOL's report highlights the myriad ways in which a Course Access program can open up access to high-quality, rigorous coursework for students," said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. "Course Access initiatives recognize that in the 21st century, high-quality education opportunities can be increased everywhere, at any time, in any place, and at any pace to best meet students' needs."

To download a copy of Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students, please click here<https://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/iNACOL-Course-Access-Equitable-Opportunities-for-College-and-Career-Ready-Students.pdf>.

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org<http://www.inacol.org/>.

The NH Department of Education is a member of iNACOL.

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