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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Virtual schools see strong growth, calls for more oversight

TC Professor Luis Huerta was quoted in a recent Christian Science Monitor story on "virtual schools" -- homeschooling conducted via the Internet.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, "you have to have high standards, tight oversight, scrutiny over what teachers are doing. Yet on the other extreme, also promoted by the federal government, are these loosely accountable approaches to schooling," says Luis Huerta, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College who has researched virtual schools for more than a decade...

...There's also debate over how much public funds go to virtual schools. Dr. Huerta's research revealed school districts that championed new virtual charter schools to collect per-pupil funding for students who cost less to educate.

Huerta identified a virtual school in California that was little more than a shipping warehouse with fewer than 10 teachers for 1,500 students: "There was virtually no overhead, and the district got to keep the rest of the money."

The full article, Virtual schools see strong growth, calls for more oversight, appeared in the May 14th, 2008 edition of the Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0514/p03s08-usgn.html

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