Virtual e-schools are the fastest growing sector among charter schools. These schools receive public tax dollars to provide a computer and access to an on-line teacher. While these schools drain public tax dollars, they are difficult to regulate. Although their academic records are poor, fewer of their students graduate, and there are many allegations of fradulent record keeping that yield funds to schools for students who are not really enrolled, states have not found effective tools to put the worst e-schools out of business.
News and Reports
May 2013: The National Education Policy Center has published its first annual study of the policy, research and operation of on-line schools — Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2013: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence.
July, 2012: Here is a short video that demonstrates the link between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pairs corporate lobbyists with state legislators to craft model bills to be introduced in state legislatures across the country, and K-12, the for profit, virtual on-line education company. The narrator is Julie Mead, the dean of education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Karran Harper Royal is a founding member of Parents Across America. Gary Miron, of Western Michigan University, wrote the National Educaiton Policy Center's report on K-12.
December 2011: On-line, virtual schools are the biggest for-profit schools today. Check out Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools, a New York Times report.