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Online class requirement needs to go

Copy of Harrisonburg High School advanced diploma graduation requirements

Copy of Harrisonburg High School advanced diploma graduation requirements

Noah Siderhurst, Op/Ed Editor

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To graduate with an advanced diploma from Harrisonburg High School, you must successfully complete all of the courses listed in the table above. These include many courses that, while sometimes seeming useless, are still standard courses of study that prepare you for college or life after high school. Foreign language classes make sense in our increasingly globalized world. Economics and personal finance helps to give students money management skills no matter their course after high school. English makes sure that students can effectively communicate. The point is, all of these classes serve a purpose and are part of the curriculum for a reason.

There is one requirement, however, whose purpose I can’t figure out. I speak of course about the requirement to take an online class. In the Program of Studies, which lists the requirements for graduation, it states that in addition to all the other classes we have to take, “a student must also successfully complete one virtual course.”

In my opinion, this is completely ridiculous. While I have gotten great uses out of online sources such as Khan Academy, it is unfair to force me to take an online class that may not interest me. Why take a chance on an online course that may not be well-designed enough to make it worthwhile when you can take another class that may interest you more?

This is not to say that all online classes are bad or that students in high school shouldn’t be taking such classes. However, it is important that students are able to weigh their options and choose what fits right for them instead of being forced into a lackluster class that is not worth their time. While we have come a long way in the capabilities of online courses, and while it is true that they have many benefits (including allowing students to access lectures from top schools without necessarily having to be there), there are still flaws. For example, many online courses have high dropout rates or do not offer courses that engage students enough.

From what I have heard from people about the personal finance online class last year (which may not be the best source of information), it was an easy class that was basically just a study hall once you got your work done.

Forcing students into classes in this way seems to me more like a way of dealing with other problems such as overcrowding or a lack of teachers. Although it may seem that online classes can at least put off these problems, making them a requirement seems unreasonable to me. Other ways of promoting online classes would be to offer them during the summer for students who want to get ahead or to simply make better/more interesting courses available and advertise them to students more.

Making me take an online class is extremely annoying. I think that they can be a good idea in some circumstances but do not need to be required. By requiring them, it forces students who want to take other classes to take a class that may not interest them or that is not worth their time. By requiring online classes, HHS is straying from its commitment to quality education.

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Online class requirement needs to go