Saturday, August 26, 2006
INDIANA TO TRY 'CYBERSCHOOLS':
COULD THEY BE AN ANSWER FOR CLASS 1's, INNER CITIES?
Here's one to watch: Ball State University in Indiana has received permission to launch an online public school next year for kids who, for whatever the reason, don't go to a regular public or private school.
They may be homeschooled, out of school a lot because of travel with their parents, or suffering from a chronic illness.
The online instruction would form the majority of their free public education, but they'd have to be in a traditional classroom at least 20% of the time.
The catch is that they would have to take the same statewide assessment as the public school kids, and that could be bad, as those assessments are geared toward assessing Politically Correct values and attitudes rather than academics.
But it's an intriguing idea that could produce some good solutions for Nebraska, if we could solve the assessment tangle with some viable alternatives.
Can't you see quality youth-serving organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, or churches in smaller towns, or new nonprofits that spring up just for this purpose, operating as cyberschools? They could be set up, either in the kids' individual homes or in multi-child attendance centers that already exist, but are empty most of the day as most of the kids are in school. They'd have so much more freedom to meet the kids' individual learning needs without getting all bogged down in the mandates. And the curriculum would flow to them online, already set up by professional educators.
What do you think:
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