My plans were to use the car on a closed course for students. I feel the manual transmission and the lightweight/hard-to-control aspect would increase their driving skill in normal cars.
I am usually the skeptic, so I am surprised that I am going against the flow here.
There are skills training - like using a manual.
That should probably start off in a small pickup with a massive flywheel before going into something with a lighter flywheel.
Getting an Elise going quickly without a LC or wheel spinning or 6000 RPM start takes a bit of work.
An Elise on a closed course makes much more sense, than in the wild.
That would be my first concern - which you have addressed.
Footwear is a major concern.
Any shoes that are too wide can get the throttle and/or clutch going in with the brake. The unlaced, massively bulky, gold encrusted basketball shoes are ill suited. I have changed footwear, and when I use clodhopper shoes I remove them and drive socked or bare footed.
Likewise you will want a kill switch if you are the passenger.
Combining, or teaming, the Driver's Ed with a high school physics course could provide a huge benefit in applied learning.
Also of benefit could be combining the Driver's Ed with the autoshop, and/or an electronics course.
You could have the spare engine/transaxel/clutch built and serviced by the autoshop course.
Some sensors could be installed by an electronics course which would allow for the Driver's Ed to have actual plots and engineering basis for conveying the theory.
This is usually done in University/College under Formula SAE or similar programs, but ding it in a high school setting may work.
For sensors you would want steering position, linear damper sensors, throttle position and brake pressure. Accelerometers could also be useful.
It has the possibility of engaging a wide range of student interest across Driver's Ed, Science, and shop courses, and if one was creative there could also be some way to get sponsorship (business) and sociology/psychology worked into the program (or that could be a thesis for a teacher).
It think this could have merit, but the cost would require some creativity.
If you can qualitatively show it helps the students on many fronts, then it would be an easier sell. The qualitative part would likely come after the program starts and would require tracking scholastic improvement over a set of students. So you have a potential classic chicken and egg problem.
I think that you need to make a proper business plan, and have some buy in from other faculty, and maybe some local dealer to really get it to fly.
In the video
you see that the person being evaluated is verbalizing what he is doing and seeing.
Do you use similar techniques to know what is going in the head(s) of the students in-situ?