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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

The problem with online education is ...



Cheating. And lawmakers are looking to deal with that issue.

A  bill that would expand Florida Virtual School, including funding for part-time students in kindergarten through high school, also aims to make it a misdemeanor for anyone to take an online course or exam for another person.

In an amendment to the bill, sponsor Sen. Andy Gardiner suggested that the penalty should apply to anyone who takes the course or exam for compensation. Polk County schools lobbyist Wendy Dodge came forward to point out that would reduce the penalty, in that anyone who cheated for free wouldn't be subject to the punishment.

Sen. Evelyn Lynn, who initially supported the amendment, asked for it to be reconsidered.

"One of the problems with online now is, other people can do the work for you," Lynn said, offering an example of a police officer she read about who had employees take online courses for him so he could earn promotions. "Why would we want to lessen?"

Others on the Pre-K-12 Appropriations panel agreed to pull back the amendment, at which point Gardiner withdrew it and said he would work with Lynn and others to find an appropriate penalty language. The bill then passed unanimously to its next stop. A similar bill is scheduled to be heard by the full House.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 12:54pm]


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