Virtual Learning

There has been a lot of promises made about virtual learning over the years.  It’s getting better as technology improves.  Yesterday, on my drive back from Minnesota I heard an ad on the radio for Minnesota Virtual Academy.   There is one in Chicago too, Chicago Virtual Charter School.

The state of the US Public School system is deplorable.  No matter how much money is spent, it stays terrible.  The system is a corrupt, centrally planned nightmare.  Tech can help revolutionize it.

As I dug into it, this looks really interesting.  It’s free to kids.  In Chicago, you meet with a board certified teacher once a week.  You get a computer, and a printer for your home.  You even get a check for a stipend so you can get internet.  In Minnesota, the target market isn’t the inner city it’s the rural areas of the state.  Rural areas have as many problems getting good internet, and getting good educations as inner cities.  The problems are different in many cases though.

I looked up the company behind it on YCharts. LRN has some competition. Competition is good!
LRN Chart

LRN data by YCharts

Unfortunately, there is a class action lawsuit that was recently filed against LRN. The suit alleges that LRN made public statements that were not factual. Interestingly, the litigators are appealing to shareholders who may have bought stock and suffered losses. It’s an interesting tactic.

My gut says that it’s a flanking effort by pro-union forces to try and stop competition to the entrenched public school system. The teacher’s unions dig their heels in against innovation anywhere they see it.

Blowing up the education bureaucracy is a good idea. We need a lot of competition and innovation in this sector. It’s an investment in our nation’s human capital. Our country has spent trillions on the existing public school system and gotten very little return from it. If you have any doubt that there is an entrenched educational bureaucracy feeding at the government trough, check this chart out.

  • Michael J. Lotus

    Just as with driverless vehicles, the technological challenges, well significant, I’d left by the political and regulatory and legal obstacles. Having the technological capability to do disruptive things that will improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans is only the first step. Then award to the death, metaphorically, against the entrenched interests has to be wedged in one to clear the way for these improvements to actually reach the American people.