Cyber education presents unique challenges in the delivery of instruction. Because there has been very little research on this topic, we do not know if it is appropriate for young children to receive the majority of their instruction in front of a computer. Because the long-term consequences of cyber education are so important, it is crucial to conduct an in-depth study so that the public, parents and students can be assured that students choosing this means of education are not being shortchanged.
The study should:
- examine whether the system for funding cyber schools and the levels at which they are funded is appropriate;
- review the quality and appropriateness of cyber schools curricula to determine if they align with Pennsylvania’s academic standards;
- determine how appropriate cyber education is for students with specific disabilities or other learning needs;
- assess the academic quality of education being offered by Pennsylvania’s cyber schools; and
- contain a detailed evaluation of the developmental effectiveness of their programs for young learners.
Since cyber schools will remain an option and thousands of Pennsylvania’s children will be educated by them in the coming years, further investigation is crucial in order to develop a system of accountability tailored to the realities of cyber education.