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Statement From CER Founder & CEO On Virtual Charter Schools Report

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WASHINGTON, DC – Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO of The Center for Education Reform, issued the following statement on a report on virtual charter schools released today:

“While we appreciate the goal and desire to learn more about how online charter schools are impacting student outcomes, this research lacks the depth and integrity that we need in educational analysis, and ignores the fact that the voluntary choices of parents – when they have them – may not represent others’ conceptions of what works best for their kids.

“Researchers agree that this view of the data is superficial and ignores who and what is gained by a particular kind of schooling approach. Many students who enroll in virtual charter schools do so because of extenuating circumstances or because they simply are not served well in a brick-and-mortar learning environment. This report is troubling in that it suggests that the measure of a school’s effectiveness is an average of who gets tested, not who gets served and the conditions under which they enter or leave.

“This report exemplifies precisely why the education reform movement is at risk —its conclusions endanger the ideals of opportunity and innovation that are so desperately needed in education today. We cannot have innovation and opportunity without the ability to try new models, and we also cannot have opportunity and choice without good information to make decisions.”

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.