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Working Paper Finds More Ways That Students Are Ill-Served By Cyber Charter Schools.
A Forbes, looking at a new working paper that adds a couple more data points to the cyber charter conversation.
Cyber charters’ many issues have been well-documented. Academically, they fall far short of public schools. When the General Accounting Office studied them last year, they found a system of schools that resists oversight, presents “increased financial risks” to states, and produces poor student results. Even leaders in the charter school movement have found “well-documented, disturbingly low performance by too many full-time virtual charter public schools” and called for a radical overhaul (more than once).
Virtual charters are highly profitable, and that pile of money, combined with lax oversight and accountability, has resulted in a number of high profile fraud cases sometimes to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Notable cases include the A3 charter school network, Epic charter schools, California Virtual Academy (CAVA), and Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), which owed the state of Ohio $80 million dollars in tuition reimbursement.
But while much has been learned about what happens with students while they’re enrolled, nobody has really looked at what happens to students after their time in cyber charters. Now “Virtual Charter Students Have Worse Labor Market Outcomes as Young Adults,” a new working paper from the Anenberg Institute at Brown University, reveals that the problems of cyber charters extend beyond the school years.
Virtual charter students have substantially worse high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, bachelor's degree attainment, employment rates, and earnings than students in traditional public schools.