Louisiana is piloting a program called “Course Choice,” which has been nicknamed a “mini-voucher program.” In this program, students in C, D, or F schools may opt to take a Course Choice version of a course rather than the course offered at their schools. Other students may take Course Choice courses that are not offered at their schools (Chinese, AP Environmental Science, etc.). Most of the Course Choice offerings are online classes.
One prominent provider is the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, a selective public school in Natchidoches, Louisiana that attracts students from all over the state. Community colleges throughout the state are also offering dual enrollment courses, mostly in English and math. Finally, the state is allowing private companies to offer courses: Rocket Learning Partners, LLC; Edgenuity, Inc.; and several others. The program is very popular, with 2000 students currently enrolled and more than 1000 on a waiting list.
As it stands, the quality of the course offerings is unknown, particularly among the private providers, though as the transition to the Common Core State Standards continues, it may be fairly straightforward to demonstrate alignment with the CCSS. If the state decides to integrate these Course Choice classes into the articulation agreement for college-level English courses, these courses will have to be examined carefully for alignment with the CCCC Statement of Principles and Standards for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing and the CCCC Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices for Online Writing Instruction (OWI).