Online classes planned in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Public Schools plans to shift to more online instruction by fall, a move that administrators said will benefit students, but that has teachers wondering if their jobs will be cut, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The district plans to offer traditional classroom instruction, all-online courses and hybrid courses that combine online and face-to-face instruction, The Press reported. In his State of the Schools address, Superintendent Bernard Taylor said the move meets the needs of students who prefer digital learning.

Teachers want evidence that online learning is better than the classroom, according to The Press.

"Where's the research on this?" teacher Patricia Wright said, according to The Press. "We think that there isn't any, but GRPS is going to be the pilot."

The district has not said whether or how many teaching positions would be eliminated or reduced due to online courses, The Press reported.

Students who take online instruction could still travel to campus for classes like band or orchestra, the report said.

The Grand Rapids Press, "Superintendent Bernard Taylor calls for more online instruction in Grand Rapids schools," March 10, 2010

The Grand Rapids Press, "Grand Rapids teachers concerned about layoffs as school district starts online classes," March 18, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "State to schools: Think outside the classroom," Oct. 2, 2009