Strapped for financial resources and suffering from teacher layoffs, the school department in Manchester, N.H., is turning to technology. The district plans to offer a variety of online and on-screen classes at its three high schools next semester. Under Manchester’s plan, some students would take online courses through New Hampshire’s “virtual” charter school, while “remote classrooms” would let students at any one of the high schools participate in courses offered at the other two.
Manchester officials contend their proposal is a win-win, saying it will help ease the classroom crunch, expand the district’s educational offerings, and increase technological literacy. That argument hasn’t persuaded the skeptics, who worry that the district is shortchanging kids. Several nearby towns that send their high-school-age students to Manchester are now reconsidering that arrangement.