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Re-Thinking 'Seat Time' Requirements

Should credit for proficiency in a school subject really be tied to how long a student physically spends in a classroom "learning" that subject? It's a question that more and more states are asking, with 36 having relatively recently adopted policies that loosen the link between credits and seat time.  Quite simply, "having a seat in a class doesn't guarantee you anything," according to Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education.  The trend has its detractors, of course, who question whether online learning can adequately fill the gaps that diminished seat time requirements might leave.  "A teacher inspires students," said Rita M. Solnet, a member of Parents Across America. "A laptop can't do that."

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