New York raised the state charter school cap to improve its Race to the Top chances, “but the union-backed (Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver) also snuck in a provision banning high performing for-profit school managers,” writes Tom Vander Ark on Ed Reformer. The hostility to the private sector explains why there’s so little private R&D in education — and why “we’re 15 years behind on learning tools development compared to advances in other sectors.”
“Students at nine of 10 for-profit charters recently outperformed surrounding districts schools in math and reading on standardized tests,” the Wall Street Journal notes. But the for-profits won’t be able to open new schools under the bill.
In Oregon, there’s a move to eliminate virtual charter schools in favor of “one single, state government-run program,” writes Vander Ark.
In addition to squashing choice, these attacks reduce private investment in education. Fifteen years into online learning, students still slog through digital textbooks when they should have their choice of engaging and adaptive learning experiences. Next gen content will take investment, but why would companies like K12, Connections, KCDL, and Apex spend $50-100 million to produce second generation content when states continue to attack their basis of existence?
School of One: Toward the Killer App has more on developing technology to engage and educate students.