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Virtues of Virtual High Schools

June 06, 2004

Andrew K. Benton's June 2 commentary, "Online and Off Course," referring to "virtual high schools" as "fast-food education," shows both a lack of knowledge about private schools specializing in independent study and a naivete regarding public high school education in our community.

My son is now completing 10th grade at Laurel Springs School, taking college prep classes, both online and with textbooks, that are accepted for credit at University of California campuses. The work is as rigorous as the classes he was previously taking at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach. He now has more direct, personal communication with his teachers, albeit not the face-to-face contact deemed to be more valuable by Benton.

Independent study isn't for everyone, and there are shortcomings, to be sure, but it is the best option for some. As Benton writes, "Education can be rendered effectively in many different forms." Now he just needs to believe it himself.

Ann Gotthoffer

Hermosa Beach

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