Cyber-Charter Schools

I said in my talk on Tuesday that there were no digital schools yet.  No truly digital schools.  Turns out I was wrongVery wrong, apparently.  My bad, as my students would say.

The EdJurist blog reports on a session at his conference this week, reporting on the results of a survey of the 25 states that allow cybernetic charter schools to operate.

The big point he makes in his article is that public school education is based on boundaries.  States distribute money to towns, and towns distribute money to schools, based on the borderlines between one town or school district and another, and how many students are contained within each border.

Private schools largely exist because parents are not happy with the schools inside the boundaries that decide where their children are supposed to go.

Cybernetic schools do away with borders.  Yet the laws authorizing their creation have no parameters for explaining or deciding what should happen when the boundaries cease to exist. And the schools themselves, in many places, have no one watching over them to check quality control or whether a rigorous education is being provided.

These operations are so fly-by-night that there aren’t even any statistics on how many students are in them… maybe 100,000 maybe more.  And what is their relationship with home schools, and schools (like the one he mentions in Maine) that read transcripts and grant university-recognized diplomas for a nominal fee?

What will this do to our public-private educational system, even beyond what school ‘reformers’ would like to do with the voucher system and charter schools?

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