The Express-Times’ Nov. 1 editorial, “Pa. must demand accountability from cyber charter schools,” bases its entire opinion on one side of the issue. Like the unfair Stanford University Center for Research on Education Outcomes, you failed to talk to parents who send their children to virtual schools.
Just days ago, President Obama addressed concerns about over-testing our children, but was The Express-Times aware this study based its conclusions solely on testing? School districts, teachers, elected officials and even the media have agreed that schools are spending too much time teaching “to the test.” Yet, you and the report’s researchers think it’s OK to judge virtual schools by those same tests. How convenient.
You probably aren’t aware this study uses a “virtual twin” methodology. To put it simply, if this study were looking at the Easton Area School District, it would’ve taken one child and assumed all students in Easton were identical. How ridiculous! The study fails to analyze or account for factors in the lives of actual students, including enrollment dates, progress over time enrolled in a virtual school, or reasons why students enrolled.
We should trust parents, not unelected elites, to determine what’s working best for our children. It’s interesting and sad how this debate never tackles accountability of brick and mortar public schools that have existed for decades and failed our children. That’s why we chose virtual schools. They fit best for our children.