Doing some research on for-profit virtual schools, I come across study after study about their poor performance, high attrition rates, and low graduation rates.
But then I discovered a document produced by Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellent Education and Bob Wise’s Alliance for Excellent Education. It is called “the Ten Elements of Digital Learning” and it is a rallying cry for deregulation and proliferation of every manner of virtual education, including for-profit virtual charters.
Among other recommendations, it says that teachers should not be certified, as that would hamper innovation and diminish quality. It claims that digital learning will transform education, close the achievement gaps, and narrow the income divide in American society. It promises the world, in short. Digital learning is the magic bullet, so it says.
It does not take note of the studies that say that digital schools underperform brick-and-mortar schools.
The report was funded by–no surprise–the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the Walton Foundation.
Maybe it is the Magna Carta of virtual schooling. But the gap between promise and reality is a giant canyon.