08 September 2007

Virtual Schools---Growing 25% Yearly, Already a Million Student Strong

Government schools in North America have failed children, parents, and taxpayers. Faced with the prospect of countless future generations of incompetent ignoramuses, a few visionary educators set about to create a system for the future--Virtual Schools.
As a seventh-grader, Kelsey-Anne Hizer was getting mostly D's and F's and felt the teachers at her Ocala middle school were not giving her the help she needed. But after switching to a virtual school for eighth grade, Kelsey-Anne is receiving more individual attention and making A's and B's. She's also enthusiastic about learning, even though she has never been in the same room as her teachers.

...virtual schools are growing fast - at an annual rate of about 25 percent. There are 25 statewide or state-led programs and more than 170 virtual charter schools across the nation, according to the North American Council for Online Learning.

...virtual learning has almost unlimited potential. Many envision a blending of virtual and traditional learning.

"We hope that it becomes just another piece of our public schools' day rather than still this thing over here that we're all trying to figure out," said Julie Young, Florida Virtual's president and CEO.

Florida Virtual is one of the nation's oldest and largest online schools, with more than 55,000 students in Florida and around the world, most of them part-time. Its motto is "Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any Pace."

...Casey Hutcheson, 17, finished English and geometry online in the time it would have taken to complete just one of those courses at his regular high school in Tallahassee.

"I like working by myself because of no distractions, and I can go at my own pace rather than going at the teacher's pace," he said.
Wired

While teacher's unions and other backward looking vested interests attempt to have virtual schools and charter schools shut down, virtual education for all ages is actually just getting started. Several states have endorsed and adopted virtual schooling, including Florida and Wisconsin.

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4 Comments:

Blogger StaticNoise said...

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Saturday, 08 September, 2007  
Blogger StaticNoise said...

I wish I could disagree with you, but the truth is our public schools are doing a terrible job. I see it in my own kids - they left parochial school in 8th grade and their actual intellectual curiosity stopped dead in its tracks. In many cases they are peer-pressured into acting like dopes when it comes to displaying intelligence.

They are not being trained to think but rather to feel good about themselves. Ironically it's hard to feel good about yourself when it is pointed out how ignorant you are on a daily basis.

As to virtual schools - having helped my daughter achieve her HS diploma when it looked like I had a drop out on my hands - I can attest to the virtue of this model for education. I was extremely impressed. I sat through the final six months of my daughters 12 years at the home computer and I felt the work was challenging and by no means a cakewalk.

When it was all over and my relieved daughter had made it I said "hey, that wasn't too bad, and you probably leaned something from the experience" she looked me and said in all seriousness "like that's the point..."

Saturday, 08 September, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks, Craig. Government schools do not really consider the students in their calculations, except as pawns in a very large and expensive game.

Who is considered important in this game? The teachers unions, school boards, legislators, bureaucrats, employees unions (custodians etc), textbook publishers and distributors, and the media.

Students, parents, and taxpayers are mere cannon fodder, taken for granted.

There is something a bit topsy-turvy about all that.

Sunday, 09 September, 2007  
Blogger Keitousama said...

The modern educational system was never about education. If you go back to the beginning, the stated aims had more to do with conditioning people to a career on the factory floor. A day divided into periods, separated by a ringing bell; designated break times, lunch times, and work times; herded around in fungible groups arbitrarily organized by age and (if the school is big enough) chance and whim.

Schools have always had some sort of social engineering goal, though. Christian schools (which for a while were the only ones) made their goal of religious indoctrination very explicit. The (evil) genius of the modern system is that the indoctrination is part of the process of the school, rather than in the contents being taught (though it's pervaded those, too, for a long time.)

Really liked this article, enough that it inspired me to rant a little more over at my place.

Sunday, 09 September, 2007  

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