Virtual schools are a relatively new invention, and there are a number of people in the world who simply do not like change in any form. To many lawmakers, “school” is a brick and mortar building complete with uncomfortable desks that many children have difficulty remaining in for any length of time; teachers who stand at the front of the room and lecture to an increasingly bored group of students; and work that is judged based on standards arbitrarily selected by the government in order to ensure that students across the country are getting an equal education. “Homeschooling,” by contrast, is assumed to be something that an often highly-religious minority does, and involves…well, they’re not sure what, exactly, but they picture girls in long skirts and dresses sitting at a desk with stacks of books around them and plenty of opportunities for field trips.
They can not fathom the possibility that “school” might be something else entirely—or that a perfectly adequate version of “school” is students sitting in front of a computer screen, interacting with their teachers over chat or telephone calls; that “field trips” can be anything from a true, traditional field trip that just happens to include their parents, to a trip to wherever Mom or Dad happens to need to go that day; or that standardized testing might fail to assess any of the benefits that a student has received from this time of setting. The government wants to control education in all its forms, as tightly as they are able. The idea of a private institution being responsible for Tennessee students’ educational performance is, to many, unthinkable—and yet they refuse to adequately fund traditional brick and mortar schools; refuse to give teachers reasonable training to deal with the situations that they are forced to face every day; and refuse to pass policies based on what works in the classroom rather than what sounds good on paper (and supports further budget cuts).
Lawmakers do not understand what they are destroying in over-analyzing and damaging our virtual schools. They are not the right choice for every parent, or for every student; but they are the right choice for some.
Would you want your right to choose removed?