Rhonda Brownstein, the executive director of Pennsylvania’s Education Law Center, says that it is time to stop trusting the claims of cyber charter promoters. For years, they have promised that students would get “innovative” education and that wondrous things would happen when virtual charters became reality, but Pennsylvania now knows that none of that turned out to be true.

Pennsylvania has allowed unchecked growth of cyber charters. They have drained funding away from public schools while providing a low-quality of education.

She writes:

“Attorneys at ELC have heard from the families of many students attending cyber charter schools. Here’s what those families have reported: Students spending countless hours behind computer screens without any required human interaction; students with disabilities who are not receiving any appropriate academic instruction; and students who have been pushed into computer-based programs as a result of behavioral incidents.”

And she adds:

“Cyber charter supporters tout policy recommendations that focus on a theoretical version of the future without addressing the ill effects of Pennsylvania’s 13-year embrace of cyber charter schools. Some of those supporters go so far as to say that Pennsylvania is in jeopardy of falling behind other states in an imagined race to expand the number of cyber charter schools. But the truth is that, despite mounting evidence of the academic failure of these schools, Pennsylvania has blindly led the full-time cyber schooling movement for years. In fact, during the 2011-2012 school year Pennsylvania accounted for 16 percent of all students enrolled in full-time cyber schools in the entire country.”

“Pennsylvania has been experimenting with students in cyber charter schools under the guise of “innovation” for more than a decade. We no longer need to hypothesize about the results. Cyber charters do not work for the majority of the students they enroll.”