ERIC Number: ED477180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Preserving Principles of Public Education in an Online World: What Policymakers Should Be Asking about Virtual Schools (Washington, DC, April 19, 2002).
This report is based, in part, on a conference that examined the implications of virtual schools for public education. It also draws on other studies of online education to highlight issues that policymakers should consider when developing virtual schools. The document presents three major findings: (1) Virtual schools are an important tool for expanding opportunities in public education if states implement them carefully; (2) virtual schools should serve as a supplement to and not a replacement for a comprehensive public-school education; and (3) virtual schools funded with public money should be held accountable to the same broad principles and policies as other forms of public education, including academic outcomes, equity, and religious neutrality. The report provides an overview of the growth of virtual schools, the features of virtual schools, and the benefits and limitations of virtual education. It pays special attention to the need to implement virtual schools while preserving the essential principles of public education, which are to prepare students for citizenship, for work, and for life. To achieve these goals, it suggests that social interactions be built into online education, that there be universal access, that equity and nondiscrimination be a part of virtual education, and that there be public accountability and religious neutrality in online education. The conference agenda and list of participants are appended. (RJM)
Descriptors: Distance Education, Educational Philosophy, Educational Principles, Elementary Secondary Education, Nontraditional Education, Online Courses, Online Systems, Public Education, Virtual Classrooms
Center on Education Policy, 1001 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 522, Washington DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.cep-dc.org/democracypublicschools/preserving_principles_online_world_full.pdf.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy, Washington, DC.
Note: Written with assistance from Nancy Kober.