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Moving out of the traditional classroom

(CNN) — Across the nation, on the Web and in the home, classrooms are evolving beyond the traditional learning environment with alternatives that are no longer bound by geography and customary modes of operation.

The majority of the approximately 54 million U.S. students still attend traditional public schools, but new educational options — such as charter schools, home schools and distance learning — are gaining ground and remain a subject of debate.

Twelve years after Minnesota opened the first one, charter schools — publicly financed schools that operate largely independent of government regulation — now count nearly 700,000 students. Recent figures put the number of children taught at home at more than a million, a 29 percent jump from 1999. And though no exact federal figures exist yet for online school enrollment, one research firm reports that 300,000 elementary and high school students logged on to a virtual learning class in the 2002-2003 school year. Read more…

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