Government red tape and inertia, coupled with union opposition, have limited K-12 students’ access to online learning argues Short-Circuited: The Challenges Facing the Online Learning Revolution in California, released by the Pacific Research Institute.
“Of all the states, one would expect that the impact of technology on the delivery of education services would be greatest in California, home to Silicon Valley, Facebook, EBay, and other tech companies – but that’s not the case,” said co-author Lance Izumi. “Irrational regulations burden online learning and virtual charter schools,” he said. In addition, teachers’ union contracts limit the use of online learning technologies to protect jobs.
The book urges deregulating “virtual” charter schools, allowing multiple charter school authorizers, lifting the cap on new charters and allowing star teachers in other states to teach California students online. In addition, the book calls for attaching portable funding to each student.