Online Schools

Online schooling is rapidly rising in this country. Online learning in K–12 schools has grown from a mere 45,000 students in 2000 to more than four million by 2011. K12 Inc., the Virginia‐based virtual school company with 2011 revenues of $522 million, served enough students to rank among the nation’s 30 largest school districts. Florida’s Virtual School (FLVS) is the largest state initiative, with nearly 260,000 course enrollments in 2010. Students in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have some access to online learning. As of 2012, five states—Idaho, Alabama, Michigan, Virginia, and Florida—required students take an online course before graduating from high school.

Online schooling can be extremely beneficial to people who may:

  • Have a disability that prevents them from attending regular school
  • A gifted student who may want to take extra courses to graduate faster
  • Someone who may just prefer online school versus regular class setting
  • Someone who needs the flexibility in their schooling because their scheduling for extracurriculars is hectic.

Of course with anything else there are critics and doubts as to the efficiency of this form of schooling such as:

  • Lack of socialization
  • Lower standardized test scores than students who are in a traditional setting
  • Teacher/student interaction
  • Rigor of the courses that are being taken

You have to weigh out the risks and the benefits of anything and decide which would be best for your child. Depending on what they want to do online schools can either hinder or further their education.

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