New York Times: Online Charter Schools Are Failures

Motoko Rich writes in the New York Times about the terrible results obtained by online charter schools. She focuses on the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, whose founder has become very wealthy thanks to taxpayer money and the friendship of reformers such as Governor JohnKasich and the GOP legislators in Ohio. Founder William Lager has been very generous to his friends who hold elected office.


A terrific business. A lousy education.


Five years ago, the New York Times ran a superb expose of online charters, pointing out that they are very profitable but basically scams that rip off taxpayers.


In 2011, the Washington Post published an excellent expose of Michael Milken’s K12 Inc, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



For-profit virtual charter corporations are a cynical business that exploits children and does not have educate them. It demands full state tuition to provide home schooling plus a “teacher” on a monitor.


I wrote about the online charter fraud in my 2013 book “Reign of Error.”


Numerous studies have concluded that these schools have startlingly high attrition rates, large “class” sizes, low wages, high teacher turnover, and their students very little.


The latest study, by CREDO, found that students lost 180 days of instruction in math for every year of 180 days in a virtual charter.


Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy wrote about today’s article in the Times and pointed out that ECOT has received nearly $1 billion in public funding since 2002.


Frankly, these fake schools should be investigated by authorities, monitored, and limited to students who are unable to attend school. They should exist only as public institutions, not profit-making corporations.

via Diane Ravitch’s blog

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