Arlington, VA (PRWEB) September 06, 2013
Today, Americans for Prosperity Foundation released a policy brief explaining the exciting new frontier that virtual schools provide in the struggle for economic freedom. The report is available here.
“Thanks to the Internet, a quality education is a click away for thousands of students who were previously unsatisfied with their brick-and-mortar public school,” AFP Foundation Policy Analyst Casey Given explains in the report.
Since virtual schools aren’t bound by enrollment caps and geographic location like brick-and-mortar schools, Given argues that they have unprecedented potential to extend educational choice to every student with an Internet connection. The policy brief then explains the history of online learning, its various forms, and its contemporary challenges.
“Several states stubbornly refuse to expand educational freedom online. In fact, many conservative educational reformers are even scaling back their states’ existing online programs, often in the name of preserving ‘local control’ for district school boards,” according to Given.
From New Jersey’s withdrawal of approval for the first two virtual schools to open up in their state to Pennsylvania’s targeted cuts to online learning, the report suggests that better techniques need to be implemented to evaluate and approve virtual schools.
“Instead of one-size-fits-all evaluations, states should more effectively evaluate virtual schools’ performances by focusing on progress rather than benchmarks. States should evaluate whether a student’s knowledge has improved rather than if their knowledge is sufficient to pass a state standardized test.”
The policy brief serves well as a primer on a part of the school choice debate that is often overlooked by education reformers.