Solutions of Hope: Study of Public Choice Alternative Education

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this paper is to examine findings related to the problems that school systems confront in educating all students and the approaches used in solving those problems through the use of alternative educational curricula and settings. It considers that schools foster public engagement, not simply public relations, in order to bring the communities they serve into conversation, which calls for listening, responding, and educating. Findings indicate that concerns about poor performance on standardized tests, academic standards, and the numbers of students dropping out of schools are among the problems many public schools unfortunately have in common in both rural and urban areas. These deficiencies exist in populations represented in public schools throughout this country. This study reveals that even though these seemingly insurmountable problems are an on-going cause for public concerns of American schools, school leaders are addressing these issues through policies and practices in alternative education programs. The category of educational alternative option studied will be that of public choice alternative education. Public choice options are open to all students in their localities who meet the placement criteria. The chosen school studied, the Virginia Randolph Community High School , was identified by the Virginia State Department of Education as having an established public choice alternative education program. This alternative high school has been fully accredited by Virginia standards. This investigation will also examine the influence of a historical figure, Miss Virginia Estelle Randolph, on the present alternative educational program at Virginia Randolph Community High School.

dropouts, public choice alternative education, Henrico Plan