From today's Wall Street Journal:
"Across the country, a small but growing number of parents ... are dramatically altering their families' lives to pursue the perfect private school for their children. ... The phenomenon is driven by rapid changes in technology, which give many parents geographic latitude with their jobs. The Internet has created a national marketplace for schools, with troves of information on most any school in the country, and even particular administrators, available within a few clicks."
Click here to read the whole thing (hat tip and shout out: Rob)
Makes sense to me: Families moving to schools to give their kids the best opportunities. But we've always done that, really - choosing this suburb or that to be near better schools or in districts close to private schools. You should see how the housing prices escalate in Northwest DC where we live, as you to get to the blocks which are closest to the premier schools.
But there is another response as well. The simultaneous rise in home schooling among these same types of families. My own take on this is that the very same technology that enables the parents-move-to- schools trend is also beginning to transform education as we know it.
The creative age requires flexibility and is rapidly eroding bureaucracies of all sorts. If the corporation no longer controls my life telling me when to punch in, when to go home, what to wear, and where to live, why should a school?
What's more these sort of family-to-school moves are extremely expensive. Not just in terms of tuition but entail substantial transaction and opportunity costs. So consider this: What if families can get state-of-the-art curriculum on-line and then use those resources to educate and engage their kids in all sorts of activities? A typical response is: "That's well and fine but how will kids get socialization?" Well, I for one never much cared for the " socialization" I saw in schools, and have trouble finding others who did. High school horror stories in particular abound.
So what if we move socialization activities out of the schools, as is already occurring. Say for example, some enterprising educational provider were to come along develop and market not just a curriculum - and this is the important part - but also an la carte menu of pre-screened and certified experts, teachers, coaches, advisors and activities that parents could expose their kids to - an expanded take on the old music lesson, after school tutor, or sports league. It would give families a whole lot more flexibility and might even make the educational experience both less costly and more tailored to individual needs and exciting for kids.
Care to weigh in?