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The Complicated World of Virtual Schools

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An excellent overview of the complexities of K-12 virtual schools, on today's California Report.

You’ve heard of public schools, private schools, year-round schools and charter schools.  Now, there’s a new trend in K-through-12 education in California: virtual schools. The Elk Grove Unified School District just south of Sacramento is one of the first two in the state to give it a try.  But as Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports, this kind of online education is also raising some concerns.

In a nutshell, here's the argument against virtual schools, as explained by U.C. Davis education professor Cynthia Carter Ching:

“The fact that public dollars are going to fund curriculum that isn’t necessarily what education experts in the state have decided that people need to be exposed to is a problem.”

And here's the argument for virtual schools, from the perspective Ron Packard, founder and CEO of K12, the private company providing the content that contracts with the school district.

“The idea is really to create an online experience and courses that are as good as or even better sometimes than what you can get in the classroom.”

Parents, educators, students: What are your thoughts about and experiences with online schools?