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posted: 5/21/2013 4:40 AM

Virtual learning falls short of the mark

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Virtual learning falls short of the mark

I oppose the concept of this virtual learning environment for a number of reasons:

Students learn at home, requiring the assistance of a "learning coach,' which means a parent, adult family member, neighbor or nanny must be present for the learning process to take place. Most families cannot afford this luxury.

Students do not interact with their peers, as they would if their learning environment were in a brick and mortar school. This type of learning does not address the "affective domain" of the educational process.

As an adapted physical educator I am very concerned that our children, under this learning model, will not experience the many positives (movement and skill development, lifetime fitness concepts, and peer interaction to name a few) that comes from a hands on educational experience. In reviewing the K-12, inc. curriculum, they do not address general physical education at the elementary and middle school levels. It surely doesn't address the many needs of children with physical disabilities.

K-12, Inc. is a for-profit company, with CEO Ron Packard making more than $5 million dollars in 2011, while our public school superintendents are paid considerably less. This seems as if we are comparing apples to oranges when it comes to using taxpayer dollars to educate our children.

I hope that the commission, Greg Richmond, Glen Barton, Bill Farmer, Mr. Jaime Guzmon, Dr. Michael A. Jacoby, Angela Rudolph, Dr. Paul Swanstrom, Dr. Rudy Valdez, and Rev. Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins get an opportunity to research this even further before any decision is taken. Education for all is crucial for our nation's advancement in the global market and I don't feel that virtual learning is the way to that end.

Garrick Balk

South Elgin

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