In April 2020, a federal court ruled that children possess a constitutional right to become literate, or in other words, the right to be educated. NPR deemed this ruling “a landmark decision.”
Against the backdrop of education inequities, this decision is revolutionary. Civil rights lawyers have defended underserved students for decades. They’ve advocated that the U.S. Constitution grants children the right to basic education. This is the first time that a federal court has agreed.
That’s right. It’s 2020, and we’ve only just started to officially acknowledge as a country that every U.S. citizen should be able to read. This delay shows us how slowly traditional systems have moved to focus on lesser resourced school districts. As parents and educators, if we’re going to ensure quality education for our children and students, it may be time to find our own way.
Students Often Feel Limited by Local School Districts
Let’s think about what a better path to quality education might look like.
The New York Times asked teenage students how American education can be improved.
A student named Theodore expressed his stress from poor school conditions and unmeaningful work cycles:
In my school, we don’t have the best things, there are holes in the walls, mice, and cockroaches everywhere…School has become a place where we just do work, stress, and repeat but there has been nothing changed. We can’t learn what we need to learn because we are constantly occupied with unnecessary work that just pulls us back.
Eliana worried about her and others’ futures after high school:
At this point, it’s not even the grades I’m worried about. It feels like once we’ve graduated high school, we’ll be sent out into the world clueless and unprepared. I know many college students who have no idea what they’re doing, as though they left home to become an adult but don’t actually know how to be one.
Students like Theodore and Eliana crave preparation for becoming competent adults. They feel stifled by the limited options that their local school districts provide. Maybe your child feels confined by local options. Asking him or her how prepared he or she feels for college or future career life can be a helpful springboard for conversation.
Online Schools Make Education Accessible
If your child feels limited by where he or she lives, consider joining an online school. Virtual education options have increased the number of people enrolled in higher education.
In other words, online schools make higher quality education more accessible to motivated students.
How Sora Makes Innovative Education Accessible
We believe that students’ quality of education shouldn’t be limited by their zip code. Sora is a virtual high school whose ambitions reach high above basic standards like literacy and standardized test prep. Sora features real-world, project-based courses that prepare students for their dream careers.
Jayden, a student at Sora, shared about his renewable energy project last year.
I’m growing algae to create a biofuel…I want to be the first person to create a bio-diesel compact engine to go inside of a car…Being able to do such large projects and look for internships is very interesting. It pushes you toward your future career.
Harrison is another Sora student. He aspires to write movie scripts or novels someday. Thankfully, he’s not stuck writing basic analytical essays. He’s gaining invaluable experience in his prospective field.
Two individual projects I’m doing–one of them is an interactive e-book where you can make choices that’ll affect the story…Another one that I’m doing is writing a coming-of-age novel.
It might seem novel (pun intended) for high school students to prepare for their careers by executing projects based on those careers. But this is Sora’s standard.
If you feel like your local school districts aren’t fostering your child’s aspirations and dreams, reach out to our admissions team to reenvision your child’s future.