Online Learning Policy

Online Learning Policy Brief Released

ARLINGTON, VA – Coming on the heels of a disappointing
legislative session for school choice, Americans for
Prosperity Foundation released a policy brief on online
learning today explaining virtual schools’ exciting
new frontier of educational freedom. The recent January
2013 POLICY PAPER No. 1301 – “A Nation Still at
Risk: The Continuing Crisis of American Education and
Its State Solution”, by Casey Given is available here.

A Click Away For Thousands Of Students

“Thanks to the Internet, a quality education is a click
away for thousands of students who were previously
unsatisfied with their brick-and-mortar public school,”
AFP Foundation policy analyst Given explains in the

Virtual Schools Aren’t Bound 

Since virtual schools aren’t bound by enrollment caps
and geographic location like brick-and-mortar schools,
Given argues that they have unprecedented potential
to extend educational choice to every student with an
Internet connection. The policy brief then explains
the history of online learning, its various forms, and
its contemporary challenges.

Some States Refuse Expansion

“Several states stubbornly refuse to expand educational
freedom online. In fact, many conservative educational
reformers are even scaling back their state’s existing
online programs, often in the name of preserving ‘local
control’ for district school boards,” according to

Better Techniques Needed

From New Jersey’s withdrawal of approval for the first
two virtual schools to open up in their state to
Pennsylvania’s targeted cuts to online learning, the
report suggests that better techniques need to be
implemented to evaluate and approve virtual schools.

Focus On Virtual Schools

“Instead of one-size-fits-all evaluations, states
should more effectively evaluate virtual schools’
performance by focusing on progress rather than
benchmarks. States should evaluate whether a student’s
knowledge has improved rather than if their knowledge
is sufficient to pass a state standardized test.”

School Choice Often Overlooked

The policy brief serves well as a primer on a subject
of school choice that is often overlooked by education                                       reformers. A full copy of the policy brief is available here.

Dispel Myths Of School Choice

“Dispelling the Myths of School Choice” AFP
Foundation-Wisconsin and the John K. MacIver Institute
Air “Did it Right” Commercial: “Stop Punishing Parents
Who Want the Best For Their Children”

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Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Prairie Dogs Observe Online Learning Policy