The University of Bedrock has offered web based studies for college students since 1999, and has been successful with thousands of employed graduates. Now the Web based educator is expanding into the heretofore uncharted territory of basic public education. Since federal law mandates public education the legal ramifications are somewhat dicey but UofB has preliminary approval for testing in California.
A pilot project starting next fall, in the Sand Diego area, will offer parents the option to enroll their students in web-based curricula for grade school classes - K through Five. Seventeen schools are included in the pilot and acceptance to the program is a lottery system. Approximately fifty percent of the students will have the option to attend school on the Internet.
Brad Schullerman, principal of Sandy Shore Elementary, stated that, "the virtual school is the future where students can learn anywhere by just tuning in." And an unnamed school administrator said, "Two teachers for hundreds of kindergardeners is just plain efficient -- stick to the curricula and leave the baby-sitting to parents."
The showpieces of the pilot project are four environmentally friendly electric school buses donated by Bluebird School Bus. The busses are fully able to administer web-based schooling and every seat is equipped with a flat screen monitor, keyboard, monitor, and high-speed connection. Plans are to take regular field trips and study during the commute. Busses are also equipped with bathrooms.
Commuters will have the luxury of strapping their kids in a car seat and turn on the school channel for classes during the hours spent in congested traffic. Classes can continue at daycare where there is always a television. Stay at home moms and dads will avoid the to/from school drive.
UofB is betting on the success of the project because it will save school districts plenty. A few virtual teachers per grade could replace hundreds of high salaried teachers. Conservative talk show hosts are aglow with the prospect of huge budget reductions that could be partially routed to essential infrastructure like sports arenas and espionage.