The Wall Street Journal’s Life and Culture section featured an overview of the growth of public, K-12 online schools across the country.
In the Nov. 12 article, Journal reporters Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon wrote:
“Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, up 40% in the last three years, according to Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm that works with online schools. More than two million pupils take at least one class online, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a trade group.
Although some states and local districts run their own online schools, many hire for-profit corporations such as K12 Inc. of Herndon, Va., and Connections Academy in Baltimore, a unit of education services and technology company Pearson PLC. The companies hire teachers, provide curriculum, monitor student performance—and lobby to expand online public education.
It’s all part of a burst of experimentation in public education, fueled in part by mounting budgetary pressures, by parental dissatisfaction with their kids’ schools and by the failure of even top-performing students to keep up with their peers in other industrialized countries. In the nation’s largest cities, half of all high-school students will never graduate.
Advocates say that online schooling can save states money, offer curricula customized to each student and give parents more choice in education.”
The article is accompanied by another story—“The ABCs of Online Schools,” written by Stephanie Simon. This article further discusses the role of parents, teachers and students in these cyber schools.