In “DeVos Champions Online Charter Schools, But the Results Are Poor,” Politico’s Kimberly Hefling writes:
“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has touted online learning as a school-choice solution for rural America, saying that virtual charter schools provide educational opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
But in Pennsylvania, an early adopter where more than 30,000 kids log into virtual charter schools from home most days, the graduation rate is a dismal 48 percent. Not one virtual charter school meets the state’s ‘passing’ benchmark. And the founder of one of the state’s largest virtual schools pleaded guilty to a tax crime last year…”
As Hefling also notes, virtual schools keep expanding across America, despite their ineffectiveness. Pennsylvania actually boasts 14 of them–and they’re reportedly flourishing, while our traditional public schools get short shrift.
Meanwhile, says DeVos, “I’m willing to wait for the right moment and the right strategy to pursue my choice goals.”
Nevertheless, she’s also quite pleased with the way things are going, since they appear to be going her way. As she reminds us, “The reality is that most of the momentum around this, and frankly, most of the funding around it, comes at the state level. More and more, states are adopting programs that embrace a wide range of choices. And I expect that to continue apace.”
Your tax dollars at work…