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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Virtual High School for North Carolina?

In an article from the Lincoln Tribune, (see "State E-Learning Commission Formed to Develop Virtual High School" at http://www.lincolntribune.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1115) it appears that North Carolina is taking the first steps to develop their own state-wide virtual high school.

According to the article, "the E-Learning Commission’s initial goals include assisting the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the North Carolina Community College Board and the State Board of Education in developing E-learning standards and infrastructures that provide virtual learning opportunities to students and other citizens. The Commission also will be working toward assisting the State Board of Education in developing a virtual high school for North Carolina students. "

The only problem that I personally see with this announcement is the fact that the virtual high school is so low on the list of potential goals. The fact the many of the post-secondary e-learning initiatives referenced are normally the responsibility of those post-secondary institutions (usually as a means of cutting costs or making money) bother me somewhat as well. I have always viewed post-secondary e-learning initiatives as a way for colleges and universities to get into new markets and I'm not sure that assisting these efforts is at the same level as providing K-12 educational opportunities to previous un-served or under-served populations (such as inner city students and, my particular concern, rural school students). It will be interesting to see how this Commission develops and exactly how long it will take the state of North Carolina to finally create a virtual high school.

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