As the pandemic continues, parents have been turning to virtual for profit charter schools. As any typical charter school, virtual charter schools are online and free of charge to families. While they are also paid for by taxpayers, many times, there are for-profit companies that control these charter schools. Connections Academy and K-12 Inc. are two examples of such for-profit companies.
Historically, results from these for-profit schools are not great. Student outcomes are less than ideal. It is common poor student retention rates, bad test results, and low graduation rates. There have been multiple lawsuits regarding accusations of fraud. While these virtual charter schools have been around for over two decades, there have been countless shutdowns in those years.
All things considered, it is curious that these virtual charter schools have never been more popular. In fact, enrollment is up by 47-58% among top virtual charter schools. The reasoning behind this is could be because they have already established a model for virtual learning. These schools advertise to have figured out how to efficiently teach virtually. With pre-recorded videos and lessons, students transitioning to virtual learning should be able to do so with ease, based on the virtual charter school business model.
Additionally, the spike in success for these schools could be accredited to how poorly some public schools transitioned to virtual learning. When public schools initially transitioned to virtual learning in the spring, they did so chaotically. Many parents were upset with the education, or lack thereof, that their child was receiving. Many of whom were looking for a stable alternative, found solace in virtual charter schools. Their reviews for virtual charter schools ended up more satisfactory compared to the virtual learning being provided by public schools. As of a result of rave reviews, top executives of virtual charter schools are now swearing that they know what they are doing. They believe that they are the ones who should be educating the masses during this time.
Post-pandemic, students receiving a virtual education, whether it be via public school or charter school, potentially could desire to keep learning from home. For students who suffer from school anxiety or have fallen victim to bullying or harassment, virtual learning is a much more ideal situation. Getting a handle on how to successfully learn from home could also make huge strides for the disabled community. Overall, further advancing virtual learning will directly result in overdue change. Nobody should worry about compromising their education due to situations out of their hands. Normalizing and progressing virtual learning will help lessen the number that do.
Would you have liked to have virtually learned throughout grade school? Let us know in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.