In today’s Education Notes section of US News & World Report is an article: States, Districts Require Online Ed for High School Graduation (link)
As a long-time proponent of online learning, I certainly think this is an important development. However, after spending some time in my state’s capital testifying before legislative educational committees, it’s important to understand that there are many paid, private, corporate lobbyists pushing hard for these changes for no other reason other than: PROFIT.
Online Learning Requirements
When private eLearning companies can provide campaign funds to re-elect legislators, in exchange for pushing laws requiring their products and services (disclaimer: “allegedly” in one PNW state) and, when legislators quit after passing online learning laws only to become a president of a prominent, private, online learning provider and lobbyists for same (both Washington State), then it’s important to question the motives during this eLearning Gold Rush.
It’s naive to believe that government and business aren’t cozy in their dealings but, the free availability of tax dollars to private companies and share holders at the expense of student learning and cash-strapped state education budgets needs to be scrutinized very closely.
While online learning can help prepare students for life after high school, the jury is still out on whether laws mandating virtual courses are the best route, says Amy Murin, a lead researcher at the Evergreen Education Group.
Just for fun: How a Bill REALLY Becomes A Law (Schoolhouse Rocks Parody)
In case it was not already obvious, the author’s opinions are his own, and do not represent in any way those of his various affiliations.