BESE moves ahead with 'Course Choice' program

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

The state Department of Education is hoping to provide more educational options for students by setting up 11 new charter

schools as well as college-prepatory and career training through the Course Choice program.

Applications for charter schools, including six Type 2 startup charter schools, will be taken into consideration by the Board

of Elementary and Secondary Education at its meeting today, Dec. 5.

“This year there was a record number of

Type 2 charter school applications, said Barry Landry, Education

Department spokesman.

“By seeing the increase in the number of applications this will

also result in an increase in the number of options for parents

when choosing the best education for their children.”

Charter schools are publicly funded and governed by a board of directors comprised of local leaders and educators. If approved,

the new charter schools will serve students in Bogalusa and in Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Madison and Orleans

parishes.

Alongside the charter applications, 45

Course Choice providers will be presented to BESE with the potential of

allowing Louisiana

students to enroll in the courses to obtain college credits and

gain experience through internships and apprenticeships in

a variety of disciplines.

“The Course Choice in particular offers opportunities to our students throughout the state,” said Holly Boffy 7th District

BESE member. “What is most important is how to provide the best education possible for students.”

Of the 45 recommended course providers, 20 offer virtual courses, 13 offer face-to-face courses, and 12 offer hybrid courses

that combine virtual and face-to-face instruction, the Education Department says.

At the beginning of the 2013-2014

school year, students will have the option to choose from 13 providers

of career and technical

education and 13 providers of Advanced Placement courses. Every

two-year and four-year public higher education institution

in the state will also offer dual-enrollment courses for

selection. “My main hope is that students will have opportunities

specific to their needs and interests that lead them to success

you wouldn’t ordinarily get,” Boffy said. “The Course Choice

in particular offers courses to students that are more rigorous

and ground-breaking in terms of what is available. It’s those

changes that will help further student’s education and prepare

them in their careers.”

Course Choice applicants underwent three review processes that ensured providers and the material taught were up to par with

the standards set by BESE.

Students and their parents will be able to choose from the various courses in January, and enrollment for the 2013-2014 school

year will begin in March.

Online: www.louisianaschools.net.