In this short post, Erin Dillon warns virtual supporters to avoid the mistakes made by the charter school movement. It's good advice: "what the virtual education movement is missing is a clear definition of quality that can be used to evaluate these new and growing providers and hold them accountable for student outcomes.... Early on in the charter school movement, advocates made some bad bargains, including offering a better education at a lower price than traditional public schools.... Virtual providers risk making the same bad bargain as states look for the lowest bidder-without good guidelines for quality, it may be hard for states to distinguish a high-quality, more expensive provider from a low-quality, low-price one." She expands on this in a longer column describing the need to focus on outcomes, take charge of data, secure independent oversight, and negotiate fair deals.
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