Sunday, May 22, 2005

Virtual Schools

Virtual schools: the next big thing in public education?

"Now, a new trend is emerging: online education for primary schools. These virtual schools, operated by either state governments or local school districts, promise to give students more flexibility while also lowering education costs for the state.

Even some homeschooling advocates are upset by the virtual schools movement, however. They fear that the schools might dupe parents into accepting less autonomy in the name of accountability and support."


Autonomy is the cornerstone of homeschooling. Any time parents divorce themselves from a child's education, they are offering outside forces the privilege of influencing said child.

Virtual schools, like any new societal advance, have costs and benefits depending on their use. As a tool to enhance education, Virtual Schools offer students an outlet for learning on their own and a resource to parents looking to outsource certain areas of study.

On the other hand, I do not believe that Virtual Schools should serve as the sole outlet for a child's education. The only person who should serve as the sole outlet is the child.

Filling a child's "basket" with one educational system may be easiest. However, a more enriching environment with varying experience fosters the development of a more balanced and holistic worldview.