Burger Flipper or National Merit Scholar?

JUNE 27, 2013 | by JOHN BOUDER

Mechanicsburg student Colin Knott is a National Merit Scholar—putting him in the top one percent of students nationwide—and already has 25 college credits under his belt prior to his first semester. Even more impressive, he has accomplished this despite the unique challenges of Asperger Syndrome—a disorder on the autism spectrum that affects just one in one thousand children.

Colin is a fantastic success story and has a bright future as an accounting major at Messiah College. Yet just four years ago, Colin’s mother wondered whether he would ever graduate high school. Back then, he saw school as a prison and had decided to drop out.

The obstacles associated with Asperger Syndrome were too much to overcome despite the accommodations his school district made—including a full time therapeutic support staff aide. Even with medicine to sharpen his mental focus, his learning style just didn’t fit their teaching style.

Then cyber school changed everything.

Colin is one of 1,500 graduates in the class of 2013 from a single cyber school, Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Cyber education’s key difference for Colin was the ability to work at his own pace, not one dictated by a class of 20 other students whose minds did not work like his. While at PA Cyber, Colin went off his medication—he didn’t need it anymore.

More than 32,000 other students took advantage of public education via cyber charter schools this year.  Without the opportunity provided by cyber school, Colin admits that, “I’d probably be flipping burgers now.” But funding for these schools is coming under attack and legislators need to hear your voice if kids like Colin’s younger brother and sister, Kevin and Caryn, are to have the save chance at success that he did.

You can support their right to choice in public education by visiting CyberSchoolsSave.org and sending a quick message in support of cyber schools.



comments powered by Disqus

Media contact:
media@commonwealthfoundation.org

(O) 717-671-1901

Who are We?

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.