4 Versions of Public Education

My kids are pretty far apart in age; currently, they’re 23, 18, 10, and 2. We had a graduation in 2006, we’re expecting one this year, then we’re clear until 2019 and 2027. So we get to go through what amounts to four different versions of public education. Son #1 went to brick-and-mortar schools all the way through, got good (but not great) support for his attention deficit, and has a decent education to show for it. Son #2 attended physical schools through the 10th grade and is now finishing through a virtual school, administered by the state, but with the learning at home. He’s had a ton of support for his particular challenges.

Son #3 only went to a (literal) brick-and-mortar school for three years. Racially motivated bullying (as the white kid in a 90%+ Hispanic school) brought him home to the same virtual school for the fourth grade, and we’re likely to keep him in home-based public school for as long as he wants it. For the baby, we plan on dropping him off at school through the fifth grade, just like the oldest two, unless he has troubles like #3. Neither of the younger two will be attending a Middle School, and are unlikely to go to a High School. Middle schools are a social and emotional meat-grinder, and one of the worst ideas ever executed in public education. High schools can be better, but there still isn’t much to be gained.

When the oldest started school, there were some computers for classrooms. The current schooling is done entirely through computers, mostly through dedicated laptop/netbook units we bought for the purpose. By the time we’re done, I’m expecting it all to happen through provided tablets.