International expert on virtual and charter schools, Professor Gary Miron says it would be a terrible mistake for New Zealand to allow private entities to own and run online schools.
“Online learning is an important education tool for students. I’m not against online schools at all, but years of research and evaluation show that students achieve better results when that learning takes place in a public school setting,” Professor Miron says.
“Full-time virtual schools are the fastest growing form of school choice in the USA. Research on online schools has revealed that they have serious problems, such as extremely high student attrition and very poor results.”
“When private entities and corporations are invited into the education sector they do what they are built to do; make profits for themselves. Privately owned online schools are akin to invasive species. They are introduced into a new setting where they thrive because they have no predators and no checks and balances.”
“New Zealand already has high quality and innovative online education within the state school system; growing and developing those resources may be the best way forward.”