January 09, 2004
"… deciphering the viability of sustaining these alternative schooling models under the context of increased state and federal demands …"

News of a paper entitled "Cyber and Home School Charter Schools: How States are Defining New Forms of Public Schooling".


Cyber and homeschooling charter schools have suddenly become a prominent part of the charter school movement. Such schools differ from conventional schools by delivering much of their curriculum and instruction through the use of the internet and minimizing the use of personnel and physical facilities. This paper examines how these alternative charter school models are emerging within the larger public school and charter school communities with particular attention to recent developments in California and Pennsylvania . In these two states public scrutiny of cyber and homeschooling charter schools has led to considerable debate and demands for public accountability. Of particular concern is the need to modify the regulatory framework to accommodate cyber and homeschooling charter schools as well as consideration of the differing financial allocations that are appropriate for schools that operate with reduced personnel and facilities and the division of financial responsibility between state and local educational agencies.

My instant reaction is that "of particular concern" is for people who care about "regulatory frameworks" to bugger off to Timbuktoo and die. Instead of "defining new forms of public schooling", why don't these people just let other people go ahead and do them? Especially when these schools only require "reduced personnel and facilities".

It's on the up. It's far cheaper. Before you know it there'll be no excuse for public money being spent on education at all. And then what? Answer, we must regulate the damn thing until it is good and expensive again, and only highly qualified people are allowed to do it, and in good and expensive ways.

But that's probably just me. They probably have their hearts in approximately the right place.

You can read the whole thing, in one of those absurdly unwieldy pdf files that occupy sixty pages of uncopiable text when they could have been presented as ten copiable ones.

Anyway let's have a look at the final paragraph of this thing, to see where they're coming from.

As we mentioned earlier, existing research that examines nonclassroom-based schooling is limited. New research efforts will need to focus on school-level analysis that can assess the effectiveness of instructional programs, organizational and governance structures, resource use, and the accountability mechanisms that nonclassroom-based schools employ. Ultimately, new research will assist us in deciphering the viability of sustaining these alternative schooling models under the context of increased state and federal demands.

"Deciphering the viability ..."? Alternative schooling "models"? "Under" the context ...? I still can't tell if these people are meddling class meddlers, or fighting the good fight from within the heart of the beast, and talking the beast's language in order to outwit him.

My life is too short to be ploughing through stuff like this. Maybe your life is longer.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:16 PM
Category: Free market reformsHome educationSovietisation