Right now in CA there is a public virtual school option for children. Its 1 to 1 in teacher to student ratio. There is no direct cost to a participating family. By definition the student stays home. My understanding is there may be no homework or testing as this is integral to simply working with the learning software. The obvious downside would be in socialization and physical development.
This virtual model is in part an attack on civil servants and public employees and is part of the ongoing effort to scapegoat them for the damage imposed by a broken financial sector but it is also a potential revolution in that it could be the first step toward democracy in the work place and democracy in American in general. Remember if we don’t have it at work we don’t have it anywhere. If Democracy isn’t a word some are comfortable with then at least think of it as a model that provides much better work/life balance and one that would be radically more respectful of boundaries, privacy and autonomy. Its much more of an empowerment vice subjugation model.
The current model is a CAFO and that’s in large part because work in the US has largely become phony and unnecessary in the wake of automation. We’ve been faking it for decades and also moving toward a plantation model. The structural unemployment will only increase and we have a pending fight over contribution and the claim on society’s product. The lower and middle classes will say they put the infrastructure and automation in place and even in terms of innovation will say their contribution is higher and hence their claim on the fruits of society more valid. The upper class will face increasing scrutiny of its contribution in both taxes and the value it adds to useful output. It won’t simply be able to claim control of output. The types of output and relative priorities of outputs will be challenged as well. We’re going back home, that is part of localism/decentralization and hardening society to face future adversity.
The US high school in particular has been a little corporate fiefdom and a prison preparing people to be cannon fodder or wage slaves. Its been designed to socialize unpaid overtime and to criminalize through the grading capitulation process the current non democracy of the work place. Every day a student in a US highschool will face tens of compliance demands by teachers and they have to comply 100% or face an F which is a soft criminalization process. This is especially the case with home “work.” its a type of tribute. The system exists to teach compliance to benefit an obsolete corporate employer class and to inculcate wage slavery.
The children are actually thought of as products and their creativity and their will to learn is driven out of them and replaced with a compliance mentality. Aside from their baby sitter function these really are little prisons very focused on damaging young people who might be able to provide progress and override the status qua. .
Out of this change and changes like SAFE that make social media and media in general less extractive and manipulative and less about about bribery and misinformation I see huge changes in the working world. I see wholly employee owned firms. I see the death of the stock market, it doesn’t contribute much to innovation, and outside of bonds and other potentially more stable instruments its casino model is absolutely the the wrong model for longer term horizons and stability through retirement- its risk benefit simply doesn’t work. I also see the end of the money first market first approach and the end of fixed/phoney markets. We will get over the nonsense that insists there should be no regulation of markets and recognize that some is necessary to keep markets healthy and we will recognize the limits of markets again.