Cyber student achievement has proved to be dismal

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The Dec. 4 Perspectives piece “Treat Cyber Schools Fairly” requires a factual response. Cyber schools do offer positives for students who are homebound, are self-motivated and have parental support. They are not a “wave the magic wand and all is well” solution.

Specifically, the title of this corporately sponsored piece is outrageous. Consider that cyber schools make a profit from each student as their operational costs are thousands of dollars less than for traditional public schools. This profit motive has led to greed and financial improprieties. Consider the federal charges against the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder.

The student achievement outcomes for cyber schools is dismal. The 2012 Annual Yearly Progress scores for traditional public schools had 61 percent making AYP; for brick-and-mortar charters it was 30 percent; and lastly, for cyber schools it was zero. So much for that untruth.

Cyber schools are public schools but have unelected boards of governors. Public schools have elected school boards that have to be directly accountable to their communities.

In closing, note that the national move toward privatization of public education is well funded by groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Committee, the Gates Foundation and the Koch Brothers. They are pushing school reform, including charter and cyber schools and vouchers, as school choice. However, their goal is to destroy public education that is the very basis for American success!

By the way, I am speaking as a taxpayer and not as a Gateway school board member.


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