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Alabama State Superintendent speaks on virtual leaning option for schools

We learned the sate department decided to use an out-of-state program.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 10:26 PM

Thursday, we learned the Alabama State Department of Education picked an out-of-state provider for virtual learning this academic school year.

The company is called Schools PLP, or Personal Learning Plan.

It's based in Arizona.

WAAY-31 asked why the state went with this option.

Alabama School Superintendent Eric Mackey wouldn't tell us exactly what made PLP the right choice for Alabama students, he would only say PLP provides the best resources for what students here need.

"Look at those lessons, their links, videos ... Things that they are using to teach children and make sure those are high quality and aligned to Alabama's courses and learning standards and that they seem to work well," he said.

Mackey didn't elaborate on the learning standards the state wanted or how PLP will help students learn.

"It's a digital textbook. But it's a very robust textbook that would include links and videos, practice assessments and all the things the teacher would need to teach the class," he said.

Mackey also told us the state spent $13 million on virtual learning aid, but he said it's up to local school districts if they want a teacher to be on a video call for lessons or just send links.

Either way, a teacher will be available to help students just like in a traditional brick and mortar school.

Mackey hopes everyone pulls together to make the school year a success.

"We want to make sure that they are holding together, taking care of another and together, we'll get through this," he said.

Mackey said the state's continuing to work on plans to ensure every single student has access to Wi-Fi and computer or tablet before the school year starts.

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