Education is huge topic on the minds of many state lawmakers. Scores of lawmakers and citizens want to improve the quality of education. The schooling in the United States of America has taken a back seat to those in countries such as South Korea and Japan. There are approximately 16. 3 million enrolled high school students; they take classes in every arena, from homeschooled to new, virtual schools. Improvements are needed in the quality of teachers, ratio of classrooms, curriculum of study and the structural needs of public schools. All of these improvements need funding in a very limited economy.
The article “Virtual Schools, real results” gives an option to help this crisis. The U. S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan wants the United States to embrace the online learning and virtual schools environment that is trending in today’s society. She believes that engaging in such will make education more productive, while spending less per student. Virtual schools will reduce the burdens on taxpayers. “A survey of directors of 20 virtual schools in 14 states found that the average annual cost for a full-time online student was $4,310 in 2008, while the U. S. average per-pupil expenditure in public schools was over $9,000. ” (Stoops) Also, the there is wide selection of courses a child told take in the virtual world. Lastly, the self-paced learning style that takes in the online classroom cannot by administered in the public setting. “Virtual schools allow students to review difficult material slowly and deliberately. Similarly, they may spend less time on content already mastered. ” (Stoops) On-line schools can also provided a customized learning portfolio for each child enrolled.
This would give each student a strong sense of purpose. Many high school students are dropping out at an alarming rate. Providing a child who feels lost in the shuffle of a traditional classroom setting, a personalized learning tool could change his or her life. Many students drop out high school due to the overwhelming social climate. In many cases students are faced with gang violence, drug interactions and sexual peer pressure. Those hazardous obstacles faced in public schools are high unlikely in a distance learning program.
All of the above sounds great, yet ignores many of the great attributes that only traditional classroom can offer. Virtual schools do not provide an option for students to clinch the diverse world we live in. When does money become more important then providing a great learning environment? Attending schooling in an outside location sets the pace for a true workplace schedule. Having social awareness and acceptance builds a strong character. In the traditional setting children are being directly exposed people from different socio-economic backgrounds and learning styles.
Being in conventional school setting allows the pupils to participate in large-scale projects and team sports. This is not a goal in a virtual setting and can be logistically impossible. When a student joins a scholar group such as “Future Business Leaders of America” or partakes in a team sport, they are building a new social system. These activities can expand scholarship activities and demand more parental involvement. Next, all public schools adhere to state and federal regulations.
These regulations make it so that responsibility of teaching the required information falls directly on the teacher, making them more proactive. State testing allows all children to be graded equally. When taking an online classes using outside material cannot be monitored while taking test. This fact can be viewed as unfair when compared to the testing challenges that all students face in traditional schools. Finally, it is a common fact the lack of money is the biggest challenge for the United States public school systems. Virtue schools post a huge threat to an already shaky financial existence.
If virtue schools start pulling from the same cash flow that public schools have the problems that it faces will only get worse. Due to limited budgets public schools are faced with teacher shortages, lack of supplies, student overcrowding and dangerous building conditions. Many states have implemented tax caps that prevent the increase of funds that could be delegated to school systems. Virtual schools have many positive attributes and shortcomings. The reasonable solution would be applying both traditional and virtual school methods to revamp the public school systems.
If each classroom would be required to adhere to instructional time via online and face-to-face the educational world could be leveled. The operational costs for running a public school will be lower, more classes could be offered, diversity is still instated and flexibility would be enhanced. Education is the building block of this country. The freedom to be able to exercise the right to gain knowledge is the very reason this country was explored. No matter what a person choices to focus on whether it is religion, economics, technology or the great artistic world that knowledge is power.
When a person just has the sheer thought of knowing that they have acquired a new, useful fact their confidence is boosted. Sharing information with other is empowering. Education will never be perfect due to the influences of changing material, different curriculum and new technology there will always be room for growth. The popular “phrase out with the old, in with the new” seems like a proper fit for the education crisis. However, one must take in to account that it is impossible to know where you are going if you do not acknowledge and respect the past and present.