Online K-12 Programs Grow in Popularity

August 11, 2014

As more and more parents become frustrated with state-provided education, as illustrated by the growing opposition to Common Core, some are turning to homeschooling and alternative online curriculum programs.

The New American reports that there are currently 2.5 million children, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, being educated at home or through an online academy. One such program that has caught on in recent years is FreedomProject Education (FPE).  

FPE is an online school with live classes that aims to provide students with exposure to the same type of subjects that America's founders would have studied. Children tune in to classes from their homes and, while the program covers traditional subjects (math, English, history and science), it also offers classes in logic, Latin, economics and American studies.

FPE began in 2011 and had only 22 students. This year, the program will have 600 students. Alan Scholl, who created the FPE program, says that students who are homeschooled perform anywhere from 15 to 30 points higher than their peers on standardized achievement tests.

According to the New American, school districts are recognizing parents' desire to withdraw their students from traditional public schools. Concerned about losing funding, they are beginning to offer online education programs. Private companies that offer online curriculums are contracting with local school districts to offer the programs. In return, the companies receive part of the school district's public education funding, which remains intact because students are still using the public education system.

Traditional homeschooling proponents contend that the public homeschooling option lacks parental control, which is what has made homeschooling successful.

Source: Dave Bohon, "Liberty-focused Online Academy Exploding in Popularity," New American, August 7, 2014. 

 

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