I ran into this nice policy statement by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Education Excellence and the former governor of West Virginia, on why online learning needs to be aggressively advanced in public education.
As technology-based education programs spread, states and districts must monitor quality and hold virtual schools accountable for improvements in learning, just as they do brick-and-mortar schools. Indeed, quality online learning offers the opportunity for higher learning expectations than currently exist in most traditional systems. Operating in an environment where time can be variable and learning constant, online learning is in the unique position to focus on outcomes rather than inputs. Assuming that quality data systems and assessments are in place, state and school district funding can be based solely on student results and mastery. Effective online instruction joined with a data rich environment is an important step to bringing accountability for student outcomes to a much higher and meaningful level.