Casey Given is a DC-based editor and policy commentator for Young Voices. Previously, Casey worked as a state policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, where he managed the organization’s labor and education portfolio. His writings on the topics have appeared in Education Week, The Hill, and The Wall Street Journal. Casey holds a rhetoric degree from the University of California, Berkeley and he recently wrote The Great Equalizer: How Online Learning Promises Every Student an Excellent Education
Over the last decade, online learning has brought school choice to new frontiers. 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. Unfortunately, this progress has met with considerable challenges. 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.
This policy brief traces online learning’s past developments, present political challenges, and future prospects. It urges innovation in student performance evaluations and state authorization to combat the current deceleration of online learning options. After all, no control is more local than parents choosing the best educational opportunities for their child.
Tearing Down the Walls
With stagnating test scores and graduation rates, American parents have had a lot of cause to be pessimistic about public schooling over the past half century. Fortunately, a glimmer of hope has started to shine over the past two decades for American school children. School choice has empowered millions of students from low income for failing public schools with access to a high quality education.
Public School Choice
Be it public school choice through charter schools and open enrollment or private school choice through vouchers and tax credits, educational freedom has improved so many youngsters’ lives. To the success of school choice is backed by hard data, too. More than two-thirds of studies after 2001 have concluded that charter school students make similar or significantly better test score gains than their district school companions.
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”
Prairie Dogs Unsatisfied With Brick And Mortar