The latest news from Indiana is that the state education department–which seems to be in lockstep with the rightwing group ALEC–has given the green light to for-profit online corporations to expand without accountability.
The three largest and oldest cybercharters have received a D and two Fs. But unlike public schools, there are no consequences for the cyber schools. They can keep expanding regardless of the lousy education they offer up to gullible students.
The state currently has 4,000 students in these pretend schools, and the number is expected to double or triple because of legislation passed last year that makes it easier for them to expand, increases their payment per student, and increases the amount of extra funding they get for special education students.
The spokesman for State Superintendent Tony Bennett and Governor Mitch Daniels–who seem to leading the education section of the Tea Party–make clear that quality is not a consideration, only choice. They want the families and children of Indiana to be able to choose without regard to quality.
Interesting that the defense of the cyber scams to their poor academic performance is that the students are “transient.” Of course, they are transient. That’s part of the business plan: A) lure new students; B) students get bored, drop out and return to public schools; C) Keep the state tuition reimbursement; D) lure new students.
The other interesting point in the article is that the only point of these cyber schools is to get students to take and pass the state tests. No one knows who is actually taking the test. But that is school in America today, boiled down to its essential element: pass the multiple-choice state test.
Could there be a clearer demonstration of the bankruptcy of “reform”? It has literally nothing to do with quality or accountability. It is all about profit and only about profit.