Findings Shine a Spotlight on the Financial Relationships between Unions, Education Researchers, and Politicians who Oppose School Choice Options
Washington, DC – The Center for School Options (CfSO) released today a research report that examines the motivations of critics around public online schools. Appropriately titled, “A Closer Look at Critics of Online Public Schools,” the report reviews the history of the school choice movement, with a particular focus on the debate surrounding public online schools, which now serve over 250,000 students in more than 30 states.
Citing the nation’s declining global education rankings, parental dissatisfaction and demand for more school choice options, the report’s author rebuts the familiar arguments made against online public schools by specific and well-known critics. The report also examines the links between these critics, which include not only academic researchers and elected officials, but the number one opponent of online schools: teachers unions.
“The arguments manufactured by special interest groups against online school are baseless,” says Brian Kennedy, a consultant for the Center for School Options. “Digital learning has moved from being a novelty 10 years ago, to a mainstream educational option today. These schools are meeting hundreds of thousands of students’ unique learning needs, including gifted and talented students, children with special needs, and in cases of social problems such as bullying or dangerous schools, they can be a lifesaver.”
Among the critics exposed in the report are individual researchers affiliated with the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), an organization backed by the teachers union. The controversial work of the NEPC was again called in to question when a recent research paper was discredited as being based on “badly flawed” performance data.
The report also raises questions around the financial ties and motivations of other frequent critics of online schools, which include specific elected officials and school administrators in states such as Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.
About the Center for School Options
The Center for School Options’ mission is to develop educational resources to inform students, parents, and the public about the benefits of school choice options such as public charter schools, public online schools, open enrollment policies, and tuition scholarships. CfSO focuses on these four pillars of school choice options. To learn more visit www.CenterforSchoolOptions.org.
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