LETTER: Cyber schools can be new ‘disruptors’ to improve education
In my work as a strategic consultant in the private market in the healthcare industry, we always plan for the disruptors: new entities that enter the market and disrupt the way business has been conducted in the field thus far.
If we borrow this concept from the private market to the field of education, districts must ask themselves: What are some “disruptors” that may affect the way education is currently delivered? Charter schools and cyber charter schools are indeed such disrupting forces. Charter schools are more nimble than traditional public schools, and can, therefore, adapt more swiftly to the ever-changing educational environment. Cyber charter schools offer a completely flexible learning environment for students leaving their daytime hours open for other activities.
The Upper St. Clair School District should indeed be commended for its recent advocacy effort and approval of two resolutions seeking change for the formula for cyber charter schools funding. However, in addition to advocacy, it is essential that our school districts analyze the ways in which cyber charter schools, and potential other new future players in the field of education, challenge the traditional school district operation. What do these charter schools offer that traditional education is not offering? Can any of the attractive features of cyber schools be incorporated in the way the districts operates today to retain the students who seek such features?
Developing a strategic plan to address these challenges is crucial for the district to remain the leader in education that it is today.
Upper St. Clair
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