Auburn Villager

Parents of children learning remotely this semester once again shared their concerns about Edgenuity with the Auburn City Schools Board of Education at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. 

The school system is using the company Edgenuity for  many classes taught remotely for eighth through 12th-graders. 

At the last two BOE meetings, several parents have spoken of their and their children's frustration with Edgenuity, as well as voiced concerns about a lack of communication from ACS officials.

Tina Hooks, who has children in eighth and 11th grade learning remotely and who previously spoke to the Board, thanked the school system for reaching out to her and addressing some issues with the company that she brought up. She offered up more questions borne out of the remote learning experience. 

"Does Edgenuity expect Auburn City Schools to have teachers available in the system for questions in each class?" she asked. "Is Auburn City Schools taking action to improve instruction and communication with their remote eighth- and 12th-graders? It's pretty quiet. I don't know if that can be arranged, but it would be a wonderful addition to the remote-learning experience if there were a connection with the schools that's a little more academic perhaps than, 'Hey, how you doing' because we do get some of those."

Hooks also asked about the process of ACS assigning grades based upon Edgenuity grades. 

"I'm seeing lots of problems with the validity and reliability of Edgenuity in terms of teaching practices and assessment practices," she said, also noting the lack of feedback on wrong answers for tests.

Kermit Farmer, who has an eighth-grader learning remotely, also voiced concerns about inconsistency with grading through Edgenuity and for students, who might not know where they stand grade-wise, concerns he said are shared with other parents he interacts with in online group.

"Eight different kids, all of them eighth grade or above, have cried at one point or another," he said. 

The main issue seems to stem from the tiered grading system, which includes the overall grade, the actual grade and the relative grade, the latter of which is problematic, he said. 

"For the second part of the year, is (the relative grade) something we really need to factor in for the virtual education because we don't have it in traditional educatio?" said Farmer, who explained that the relative grade includes every quiz or exam in the semester, including those that have not been taken yet.

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