Clayton Christensen is a business professor at Harvard. However, he recently published a book focusing on education. One of his conclusions is that within the next 10 to 12 years 50% of high school courses will be taught on line.
Assuming he is even close to on target, isn't this an area where charters could be extremely effective?
Here is why. Charters are normally led by innovative and creative people. Christensen says that online courses are "disruptive." In other words, they are so different from what people normally do that it's tough for existing structures to embrace them and make wholesale change. Charters specialize in wholesale change.
Also, Charters' biggest financial challenge is buildings. Where do you find them and how do you pay for them? Online courses eliminate much of the building expense. There is no need to issue bonds or to run a capital campaign.
Charters seem poised to take advantage of this not so new technology and create great programs to help students achieve their goals. It just takes those with some vision and a willingness to disrupt people's thinking about what makes up a great high school.
We can do it. Let's lead the way.