When Nevada high schooler Simone Gardella scored a zero on a short writing assignment early last fall, she thought the grade was inaccurate. But she couldn’t find out what she might have done wrong. No human teacher had read what she wrote, and the computer program that had given her such a low mark didn’t provide any feedback.
“A robot is my teacher,” said Gardella, a senior who had taken Advanced Placement classes before the coronavirus pandemic arrived. “I put thought into it. I felt like I answered the question. But I didn’t get to find out what I did wrong.”
She saw more problems with the online lessons, and eventually, she spoke up, writing a letter to her local newspaper to criticize school administrators and Edgenuity, the vendor that her district had hired for remote learning.
It turned out that there were a lot of critics of Edgenuity, an