Keeping up with the Education Market

Published September 1, 1999

Just as companies like Barnes & Noble have responded to the changing nature of the retail marketplace by creating superstores on the Internet, some public education providers are beginning to position themselves so that the future market in online education does not pass them by. For example, the Houston Chronicle recently reported on the idea of “virtual schools” proposed by Rod Paige, the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

Paige’s idea is to use computers and other technology to offer students not currently enrolled in the district a range of programs to which they otherwise would not have access. Examples of such courses would be aviation, meteorology, law enforcement, and some foreign languages. State law currently does not permit the district to receive state funding for services provided to students not physically present at school, unless they are disabled.