Even Florida Virtual School acknowledges its shortcomings in science

In the follow-up  the Orlando Sentinel’s Beth Kassab posted to her column on the proposal by Florida House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford to establish a new state university that is completely online, Kassab mentioned a conversation she had with Florida Virtual School Director of Student Experience Brian Marchman about science courses:

Some subjects, especially science and math, don’t always work in an exclusively online environment.

Some science labs, for example, are hard to replicate through online simulations. Instead of dissecting a frog and feeling the pressure it takes to pierce the reptile’s skin with a scalpel, virtual school students perform a simulated dissection on a screen.  

And when it comes to higher level classes, it gets even tougher to replicate the real thing with a computer simulation.

“When you talk about AP [Advanced Placement] and that level of sophistication, it does create more of a challenge for sure,” said Brian Marchman, director of student experience.

Florida Virtual School was awarded a district grade by the state for the first time this year. It earned a “C,” and it’s lowest scores were in science and math while it scored considerably higher in reading and writing.

But you knew that already.

I only wish the folks at Florida State University School and Godby High who are relying entirely on FLVS physics for their students knew this.

[OK, I know what question you’re thinking, and I don’t know the answer, either.  What is a “Director of Student Experience”?  Right?]

Update (Monday, August 13):  Rumor has it that Godby is offering physics this coming year.

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