Wednesday, August 28, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Poorer Districts Worst Hit By Cyber Schools

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Poorer Districts Worst Hit By Cyber Schools

PA: Poorer Districts Worst Hit By Cyber Schools

A study released in February shows that poorer school districts are bearing the brunt of funding Pennsylvania's cyber schools. The study was published in the American Journal of Education, and you can tell it's serious because its title is painfully dull: Cyber Charter Schools and Growing Resource Inequality among Public Districts: Geospatial Patterns and Consequences of a Statewide Choice Policy in Pennsylvania, 2002–2014.

Bryan Mann (University of Alabama) is a professor of education policy and foundations, and co-author David Baker (Penn State) is a professor of sociology, education and demographics. As the title suggests, they looked at the changes in cyber enrollment and the patterns and financial costs of that enrollment from 2002 to 2014. And because it's behind an academic paywall, we'll have to depend on second-hand reporting of the results, as well as their own writing about it..

The abstract of the study, translated from heavy academese, boils down to this:



When cyberschools started, everyone said, "Cool! Computers! I bet that'll make kids damned smart!" But then it turned out that cyber schools don't actually school well at all, and as word got out in the media, upscale communities ditched it, while enrollment in poorer areas kept up. So now districts with low tax bases are losing "significant revenue" to the cybers, despite the "dubious academic benefits."

From the anecdotal perspective of someone who taught in a less-wealthy rural-ish district, that sounds about right.

There are several other takeaways from the CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Poorer Districts Worst Hit By Cyber Schools


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