A sign of things to come

Fiona Millar's picture
A chilling read from the New York Times about what is happening in the US with private sector online charter schools - failing on nearly every measure apart from raking in the cash. Worth taking time to read on the day the Tory right stepped up their unquestioning, gushing coverage of for profit edu-chains with claims that they are "the surest guarantor of social justice".

The NYT paper reports that for profit companies tap into"a formidable coalition of private groups and officials promoting nontraditional forms of public education. The growth of for-profit online schools, one of the more overtly commercial segments of the school choice movement, is rooted in the theory that corporate efficiencies combined with the Internet can revolutionize public education, offering high quality at reduced cost.

"The New York Times has spent several months examining this idea, focusing on K12 Inc. A look at the company’s operations, based on interviews and a review of school finances and performance records, raises serious questions about whether K12 schools — and full-time online schools in general — benefit children or taxpayers, particularly as state education budgets are being slashed.

Instead, a portrait emerges of a company that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload and lowering standards."

Only a third of this company's schools achieved adequate yearly progress. Not much social justice there then.

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Ben Taylor's picture
Fri, 16/12/2011 - 23:36

What do we do about our bad state schools then? At least no one has to go to this school just because a trade union thinks so.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 07:58

One thing we most certainly shouldn't do is rely on the internet to solve our problems. Appalling idea.

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