Virtual schools see strong growth, calls for more oversight
By Ben Arnoldy
Enrollment in online classes last year reached the 1 million mark, growing 22 times the level seen in 2000, according to the North American Council for Online Learning. That's just the start, says a new paper by the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at
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
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.