The writer of this article may have got the financial information right, but the sentence about homeschooling and the federal No Child Left Behind act is wrong.
Liberating Kids From The Classroom — But Not Exams, 20 August 2007, Investor’s Business Daily
Also, with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2000, [the homeschooling] children have a more stringent round of standardized tests to pass.
That is not even close to the facts.
No Child Left Behind — A Desktop Reference, 2002, Page 176
Federal control of home schooling is prohibited. Home schools are not subject to NCLB or NCLB assessments.
The rest of the article is about virtual schooling, and specifically K-12, Inc. In a recent discussion about another online lesson provider, my advice was to “follow the money.” This article underlines my advice.
Liberating Kids From The Classroom — But Not Exams
Auspiciously founded the same year that the No Child Left Behind Act passed, K12 develops online curricula for this unique market. The company draws revenue from a mix of government contracts and direct sales to families. K12 profits to the tune of $8 million in net income the past nine-month school year.
Virtual schools do not liberate children from classroom-type learning, as the article’s title states, but all schools liberate money from the bank accounts of all of us. It is true that state-funded schooling, virtual or brick & mortar, does not cost families direct tuition, but the programs are not free. I doubt that any curriculum-provider/virtual school just drops off the materials at the state DoE and then drives away. It is unlikely that the virtual providers are happy with only the warm glow of satisfaction from providing an education for the children any more than teachers show up at neighborhood schools without the expectation of paychecks. K-12, Inc.’s $8,000,000 net income (meaning the money left after K-12’s obligations are paid) did not fall off a printing press.
Home education is a hot market, but the cash is not in homeschooling, it is in what states pay for virtual schooling. This cost is part of the half-trillion dollars the fifty states and the federal government spend yearly on K-12 education.
Remarks by Secretary Paige at the Executive Leaders Forum, Committee of 100, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, 28 June 2004
It’s time we recognized a central, cardinal fact: education is a big business. It is a huge part of our economy, a large segment of our gross national product. Last year, as a nation, we spent more than half a trillion dollars on K-12 education.
For those with a technical bent, that would be $500,000,000,000.00+ (as for how much half a trillion looks like ….)
- a million dots — scroll to the right at the site (I believe you would need fifty thousand of those pages to make half a trillion)
- a million gallons — would need a pool 267 feet long x 50 feet wide x 10 feet deep (a football field is 300 feet long without the end zones, and 160 feet wide — so fifty thousand of those pools)
- a million asterisks fit on 302 Microsoft Word pages (about as many pages as an average-size paperback book). I just tried it so you wouldn’t have to. It would be a pity for all of us to spend time and electricity counting asterisks on pages. If my math is right, a trillion asterisks would fit on 15,100,000 8×10 Microsoft Word pages, roughly the page-equivalent of 533 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica Macro- and Micro-pedia.
The National Debt Storm by U.S. Representative John Tanner
One trillion seconds ago 31,688 years Neanderthals walked the earth.
Since we know that the article did not provide accurate homeschooler/NCLB information, should we hope that the education-cost information, both from the article and overall, is correct?
posted by Valerie
homeschooling, home education, virtual schooling, public school at home