Remove Aleks Program at Vinal Tech
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The Vinal Technical High School is described on its website with the following; "At Vinal Technical High School, students become prepared for the real world in every way possible. They learn high-demand technical skills, take college-prep classes and learn and develop career and employability skills. Vinal Technical High School teaches our graduates the necessary skills to become successful employees and college students." Transitioning to a computer-based program has done anything but that for the current freshman and sophomore students that have participated.
The website chosen by the technical system is called ALEKS. It is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are retained. ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.
ALEKS seems like a perfect solution to integrating new technologies into the classroom, and to improve on students literacy and numeracy skills. That is not the case when actually participating in the program first-hand. As students, we struggle to comprehend the topics we are given and the explanations to go along with them. Due to student going at their own pace they are not all in the same place. Some can be in the same class with a teacher who specializes in geometry, and be in algebra 1, algebra 2, or honors algebra 2 (which is significantly harder than being in a non-honors class). This makes it harder on the teacher to assist students when they themselves don't understand. Students are graded based on how many topics they complete in a week and how many hours they spend on the website. If students fall behind and do not meet the criteria for the week, there is no way to make up the grade.
On behalf of the students of Vinal Tech, we would all like to see this be addressed and fixed. We would all like to see the program disappear and return to traditional classes. If this cannot happen the program must be improved upon to make it capable for all student to succeed.
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