Online schools of all types seem to have gotten a bit of a bad rap. Since many operate outside of state and federal regulations, educational standards can be a bit up and down. That's not the case for quality institutions, but it surely weighs on the minds of many parents. If they're concerned about the success of their children, though, they should consider something else.
There is a large disparity in terms of the quality of education, one that can be easily measured by more than just test scores. Simple literacy, the ability to read a newspaper article or a bill, is a nice simple metric. Except in Mississippi, where it's a source of some consternation. One in six adults can't understand either type of writing, reports USA Today.
Overall, one in eight adults are illiterate in the United States. And students in high school aren't well prepared for college either, with the state's standardized test scores the worst in the nation. And even those who take high level courses like calculus still can't meet national averages, according to the Washington Examiner. Of course, piling on Mississippi isn't the right thing to do. After all, the bottom 10 states in these metrics are in the Deep South.
So, online high schools? Many have standardized curricula that could be much better than the ones in your local schools. It's the equivalent of a private school without the high tuition, or a magnet school without the strict admission standards. Programs like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate are also available with many online high schools.
If you want the best possible chance of success for your child, you may want to review scores for your local school district. If you're in a state like New Jersey or Connecticut, educational quality isn't such a strong reason. For many other states, though, it could be a compelling reason.
Keep in mind that with the time at home available to work with your children, you can help them out even more. Staying involved in their education if you're a stay-at-home parent increases the likelihood that they'll do better with their coursework.
For a variety of reasons, then, it makes sense to check out online high schools. To learn more, read our other articles to see if it's the right choice for you.
Data on U.S. Public High Schools & Private High Schools
Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. The data displayed is compiled from the most recent sources available. For public schools this is the 2012-2013 school year. For private schools this is the 2011-2012 school year.
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