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Friday, August 20, 2010

"Public" Schools Competing?

I just saw an ad on TV, that for some reason really struck me as odd. It was for the K12 "Public" school at home option. For those of you not familiar, K12 is an educational company that caters to both the public and private schooling sector.

Many states offer K12 as a "public school at home" option. They will provide all curriculum and learning materials free of charge as well as provide a certified teacher to oversee your school at home program. At first glance this may seem like an ideal situation for brand new homeschoolers afraid to venture out completely on their own or for those low on finances, not able to afford all they think they need for school. In some cases it may be a viable option, but it does come with strings attached and one should always go into something like this aware of all the pros and cons. A google search on "charter schools" or "charter school vs. private homeschooling" will bring up lots of resources for you to help make an informed decision.

K12 also offers an "Independent" program. From what I understand, it is all the same resources the public school option offers but for a price(rather steep at that!) but it is a truly "private" homeschooling option.

I am not here today to debate the charter vs. private issue. It just struck me as incredibly odd to see a "public" school advertised on TV. To be honest I am not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I just think it is weird. I mean, does your local public school advertise on the TV? Last I knew, basically you were assigned to a school based on your home address.

On the other hand, maybe this is just what the government school system needs, is competition. I personally, Lord willing, will always choose the private homeschool option, but for those who for reasons personal to their own family and situations "need" to be in the public/government school system, maybe competition will help improve the schools at least from an educational stand point.

Right now, with the way the system is set up, you basically go to the school you are assigned or petition for a request for a transfer, which seem harder than ever these days to get approved. Then you're on your own for transportation and such.

With more "charter" school type programs opening up, both site based and home based now there is a little more competition. For those stuck in the system, I see this as a potentially good thing. Even so, I still think advertising on TV is just plain weird. But I suppose just like all the pharmaceutical ads I will eventually get used to it.

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