The politics and policy of online education

(Reason Magazine) While online education offers some great opportunities for kids, the traditional monopolies across the states are fighting to limit its growth.

(Reason Magazine) From the perspective of education reformers and policy wonks, beaten down by a decades-long war of attrition, online education has swept onto the scene with astonishing speed. Paul Peterson, the Harvard education scholar, calls the rate at which the online education sector has grown “breathtaking.” But his private-sector counterpart Tom Vander Ark—who helped found the country’s first K–12 online school in 1995, served as the executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and now runs a private equity fund focused on education—has a different view. “Coming from the business world, I thought this would all happen fast,” he says. “It’s frustrating that 15 years later online learning is just beginning to mature.” (Read more…)