Stephen Smith: ‘Flipping’ not all good

December 6, 2013 

Thank you for highlighting the “flip” learning concept at our area schools (Nov. 30 news article). I have two children at Durant Road Middle School where the not-optional transition is underway. You correctly noted that the concept has scant empirical research and highlighted that the teachers have had virtually no training in the concept.

What you missed is the near-unanimous outrage from area parents as their children struggle with this topic. My own children went from straight A and A/B students to solid D and F students. They now require substantially more at-home instruction to supplement the shockingly poor quality of the video instruction.

I do, however, see the attraction. This concept begs for standardized professional videos. The teacher shortage will be eliminated. One skilled professional will make the videos for all Wake County classrooms. Expensive experienced teachers with degrees will no longer be required. The old classroom experts can now be easily replaced with anyone (low-cost anyones) who can help with middle school homework. Class sizes can also be expanded almost indefinitely with little incremental cost.

As a taxpayer I am thrilled and look forward to a rebate. As a parent, I am shocked and alarmed. Where was the public debate?

Stephen Smith


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