Alternative schools no substitute for traditional schools

In an attempt to polish their transcripts, students are taking AP classes and the like at alternative schools that are not nearly as rigorous (“Students Use Tactic to Lift GPA,” The Wall Street Journal, Jun. 19).  They get the same credit, but they are kidding themselves if they think they are learning as much.

I say that despite claims from alternative schools to the contrary.  I taught summer school for many years during my 28-year career in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  It was impossible to offer the same instruction during a six-week summer course as during the regular school year.

 I have nothing against online courses offered in either venue.  Properly designed, they have the potential to help students learn.  It all depends on the time it takes to complete the material.  There are no shortcuts in learning.  I hope accreditation bodies will take a harder look into the growing trend of bypassing traditional instruction.

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