Rosetta Stone Severely Cut Back For Upcoming School Year
World Language teachers hired for 2012-13 year
Rosetta Stone is dead. Long live Rosetta Stone.
The World Language computer program put in place last year for the district's four elementary schools under the direction of former Curricululm Director Marianne Gaffney, has been all but scrapped for the upcoming school year, according to the Board of Education.
The World Language program has been restructured and teachers have been hired to be in classrooms this coming year, Board members said.
Board member Laurie Cannon, head of the panel's Curriculum Committee, reported last week that the computer program that caused a parental uproar when it was implemented last year will be used only for the district's English as a Second Language students, where it has been successful, Cannon said.
"We are not currently seeing a need for the Rosetta Stone licenses for all students at the elementary level of instruction,'' Cannon said.
The district will renew at least 70 licenses for the computer program for the upcoming year, at a cost of about $6,000, Cannon said.
The number of licenses is down from 1,848 that the district bought last year. The district at the time estimated the cost at $36,200. The district last year also estimated they would spend an additional $30,000 on headphones to administer the program — a pair for every student and teacher in the elementary system.
There was no word at the meeting on what would become of the headphones.
When Gaffney pitched the program last year, about a month before she left the district, more than a dozen parents criticized the plan as shortsighted. Among them was Katherine Wojciehowski, who has been a persistent and vocal opponent to Rosetta Stone.
"'I think we're just getting better and better news here every time I come to a meeting,'' Wojciehowski, of Wedgewood Road, said. "As I understand, it is being used purely as a supplement for live, certified ESL teachers. It can be a valid use of that.''