Chicago Virtual is a go

Thanks Annette, for the heads up about this article!

State board OKs virtual elementary despite opposition

Board members listened to concerns about computers replacing teachers and virtual schoolchildren not getting enough socialization.

I wish I could just yawn and shrug my shoulders at the typically ignorant comment about socialization that comes up about those who are educated at home (whether it is via homeschooling or public school at home). But unfortunately, it is typical and a widespread ‘belief’ that homeschoolers are the ‘unsocialized unwashed’.  We’re just not standardized enough. 
And unfortunately, it seems to crop up in almost every one of these controversial virtual school articles.

Likewise, Board Chairman Jesse Ruiz said he was persuaded by compelling letters he received from parents pleading for an alternative approach for their children.

"It is difficult to ignore those letters," Ruiz said.

That’s understandable and I’m glad that ISBE (that works for the parents/people) didn’t want to ignore the parents’ pleas rather than pleasing the Chicago Teachers Union.   I hope that those families find what they are searching for in getting an education for their children.  In this day and age, I know that I would be very wary of a public school in my home.

About 300 families have already filled out applications, and the school can accept another 300 students, said Sharon Hayes, the head of the school. Judging on the response so far, the school will serve a wide variety of children–from gifted to special education students, to public and private school students as well as children previously schooled at home, Hayes said.

The previously schooled at home (homeschoolers?) are going from their own autonomy to the public school.  Funny how many arguments you hear about "baby steps" being necessary to go from public school to homeschool.  Not sure that holds much water anymore, but I didn’t ever think it was a valid argument anyway.   Some homeschoolers choose a boxed curriculum, some choose unschooling, many do a lot of this and that in the middle.  But the baby steps weren’t necessary for a parent to be in complete charge of their child’s education. The former homeschooling parents who are now with the Chicago Virtual made that choice as best for their family.  They’re good with the public school oversight strings.

llinois law states that charter schools must be "non-home based," which the teacher’s union argued would restrict the state from approving the virtual school. State Supt. Randy Dunn recommended the board deny the virtual school’s application based on the law’s language.

Funny, homeschoolers were saying that it wouldn’t pass because of that statute too.  But when has a statute ever stood in the way of this successful argument below (in Illinois anyway)?

But board members and proponents of the virtual school said that charter school laws enacted in the 1990s did not anticipate the growth of technology that has made virtual schools possible.

And isn’t this a charming message from the CPS lawyer?

Rocks, the attorney for Chicago Public Schools, said the restrictions on "home-based" charter schools mushroomed from concerns that home schools were trying to become charter schools simply to get public dollars. He presented letters from state lawmakers who voted on Illinois’ charter school law, and said their intent was not to block Internet-based schooling.

Those greedy, greedy homeschoolers? Nice message, Chicago Public Schools. And I’d like to talk to a legislator (s) who have  been concerned about what homeschoolers want.  I would wager that if there was a fly on the wall in those conversations, that fly would hear that the prevailing message from homeschoolers would be that they want to be left alone.  But who knows in this disjointed Illinois homeschool community?