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It has become a cliché to say that these are precarious times for public schools. It is also a reality. On the one hand, improving schools is the public's top priority. On the other, significant numbers of Americans are giving up on public schools. Today's parents and, indeed, all voters, need to see signs of success if they are to support public schools. Parents must be given choices when it comes to their child's education. This book acknowledges that enormous problems outside schools do not mean that educators inside schools cannot do a better job at creating a meaningful learning environment. It is designed to inform and assist those who wish to choose their child's educational settings. The Hows and Whys of Alternative Education offers the essential information on the history of alternative education, school choice, alternative schools, charter schools, magnet schools, homeschooling, private schools, vouchers, distance learning, teacher/student/parent attraction, and the future of educational choice.
The book may also be of benefit to individuals, especially administrators, educators and board members of public and private schools who occasionally allow the collective history to pass as innovative and new. The book can assist the reader in an exploration of alternative education and "its many flavors." It can aid the reader in an understanding that the movement of alternative education is as old as Plato choosing a log that will fit the willing learner. As a mature movement in education, it calls out not to be tamed nor resisted, but to be utilized for the benefit of all children.
I know Dr. Darlene Leiding as an accomplished educator, administrator and now as a leading advocate for the needs of all children. I am indebted to this writer for her contributions to my education.
Chapter 1 History of Alternative Education Chapter 2 School Choice: Trust for Parents' Picks Chapter 3 Alternative Schools: A School of One's Own Chapter 4 Charter Schools: A Beacon of Hope Chapter 5 Magnet Schools: The Stuff of Kids' Dreams Chapter 6 Homeschooling: Testing Our Freedom Chapter 7 Private Schools: An Investment in the Future Chapter 8 Vouchers: Threatening to Make Schools Improve Chapter 9 Distance Learning: The Wave of the Future Chapter 10 Teacher/Student/Parent Attraction Chapter 11 The Future of Educational Choice: Does It Work?