Some parents are upset that grades 6 through 8 are left out of Missouri’s new online education program for the first year:
Garry Jones, of Kansas City, has a 12-year-old daughter who is home-schooled by her parents because of her asthma and allergies. She will be in seventh grade next year., falling into the gap in the virtual education program.
He said his family and many others with middle school students traveled to Jefferson City to advocate for the bill and now aren’t reaping its benefits.
Online classes are a good idea for children who live in remote areas or who have health problems. But Missouri’s plan is more complicated than it needs to be. Some states, such as Arizona and Florida, pay for students to enroll in privately run virtual schools like k12. Private programs like this have already developed courses in all subjects, at all grade levels. Rather than reinventing the wheel and creating online courses from scratch, Missouri could allow students to choose from existing online courses. That would be easier and less expensive. Most importantly, there would be less chance of the online courses replicating the mediocrity that plagues many of Missouri’s brick-and-mortar public schools.