ERIC Number: ED473002
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Virtual Schools. Trends and Issues.
This article looks at a rapidly growing form of distance education: virtual schools. Also known as cyber schools, these Internet-based programs enroll fewer than 50,000 students nationwide, but more and more companies are entering this market. Some examples of these virtual schools are the Willoway CyberSchool, which was founded by a former elementary-school teacher; K 12 Inc., established by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett; VHS Inc., a virtual high school that was developed with federal funding; Florida Virtual School, the nation's largest virtual school, offering free courses to any student in grades 9-12 in the state; the Internet Academy in Washington State, which fills gaps in homeschooled students' instruction; the Kentucky Virtual High School, which offers advanced, specialized, and foreign-language courses free to public students; and the Colorado Online School Consortium, which was founded to provide advanced-placement courses to students attending rural and small schools and homeschoolers. The increasing number of virtual schools has raised concern with education planners since most school districts receive funding based on student enrollment. States are having to revisit their school-finance laws as virtual schools compete for state dollars. Many believe a set number of virtual courses can benefit a student but decry full reliance on computers, believing that parent-child interaction is the essence of homeschooling. (RJM)
Descriptors: Educational Administration, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Internet, Nontraditional Education, Online Systems, School Choice
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 5207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5207. Tel: 541-346-2332; Tel: 800-438-8841 (Toll Free); Fax: 541-346-2334; Web site: http://eric.uoregon.edu. For full text: http://eric.uoregon.edu/trends_issues/choice/virtual_schools.html.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.
Note: In: School Choice. Trends and Issues; see EA 032 330.