The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, joins with hundreds of groups nationwide to celebrate the fifth annual National School Choice Week (Jan. 25-31). Since its beginning more than 11 years ago, the Bluegrass Institute has been the leading voice to give Kentucky parents effective alternatives to ensure that each child receives a quality education. As part of National School Choice Week, the Bluegrass Institute will publish a series of blogs offering information on different types of school choice. This series will be one of 6,000 events nationwide taking place as part of this year’s National School Choice Week.
Today, we offer this snapshot of digital learning, which offers great potential for:
o lowering education costs
o tailoring instruction to specific students’ needs
o closing achievement gaps
o lifting high school graduation rates
o lowering dropout rates
The Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning (BAVEL):
o serves grades 6-12 from public, private and home schools
o contains all levels of students – from gifted and talented children to at-risk kids
o accredited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association
o accepts students from anywhere in the state
o allows students to either take classes their traditional public school doesn’t offer, including Advanced Placement courses
o allows students to achieve their degree entirely online
o allows students to accelerate their learning
o meet the diverse needs of the students and families it serves, regardless of where they live or their schedules
o no buses to catch, no bells to follow, no after-school meetings for parents and no fundraisers to sell
o no bullying, uniforms or lunchroom fees, only teachers and students.
o certified master teachers who care about the students they serve.
o many of BAVEL’s students were previously at risk of dropping out, but now attend and graduate from college
o its 11th-graders scored 19.0 on the ACT during a recent year – much higher than the state’s average among at-risk students.
“Online learning could address main discrepancies in American education – the disparate access to high-quality teachers and instruction caused by socioeconomic and geographic differences. A child’s chances of attending a school with high-quality teachers largely depend on where she lives, which is shaped by her parents’ financial means. Online learning could give all students, regardless of where they live, access to the best instructors.” –Dan Lips, The Heritage Foundation