The Excitement of Hoosier Academy

Published October 6, 2008

Dear Editor:

News of the opening of The Hoosier Academy is exciting, not just because it is a charter school but because it gives promise of being a truly innovative institution integrating the strengths of home-schooling, coaching, and online instruction. (“First new local charter school opens its doors,” Oct. 5.)

Typically, elementary and secondary students travel to the same school building five days a week, 180 days a year or more, and take their lessons from the same teacher or set of teachers. Who is to say there are not better ways to engage students in learning? By having students commute to a school only two days a week while being home-schooled and learning online the rest of the time, Hoosier will test a new paradigm.

A brilliant reformer, Clayton Christensen, recently published a book entitled “Disrupting Class” that makes the case for individualizing education via innovations driven by the “end users” in the education system – students, parents, teachers. “Smart people will do smart things if we just enable them to do so,” he writes. 

It is good to know that they will get that chance at Hoosier.

Robert Holland ([email protected]) is Senior Fellow for Education Policy at The Heartland Institute.