Virtual Education, Real Opportunity
Recently, the Kansas City Star ran a piece on a little-known and underutilized option for Missouri students, the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MOVIP). The article focuses on Kansas City, which — as an unaccredited district — is required to pay for courses when students enroll in the program. The Star reports only eight students in the Kansas City School District are currently enrolled in a MOVIP course. Why? Probably because families do not know about MOVIP.
The kicker here is that this is not an isolated incident — all unaccredited districts and districts with provisional accreditation for two years are required to pay for these courses for their students. Unfortunately, few districts make this readily known. What is more, all school districts have the option to offer MOVIP courses to their students.
As Show-Me policy analysts have noted (here and here), virtual education has tremendous potential to improve and broaden the quality of education for Missouri students. Schools should be lining up to partner with MOVIP.
Imagine a classroom full of students on computers, each taking a different virtual course. One student is making up English I, which he previously failed, while another is taking a course on web design. Other students are taking foreign language courses that the school could not offer, perhaps Chinese, German, Japanese, or Latin.
We are in a tremendous age, where technology is transforming how we operate in our daily lives. Now, technology has the potential to change how we educate our students. By partnering with MOVIP, schools can expand options for students. More students in Kansas City — or even Appleton City — should enjoy greater educational options. It is time we demand more.