A group of digital-education experts is recommending that Maine create an online directory to help school districts and teachers find, choose and write reviews of digital learning resources.
But the 17-member group's report and "digital learning strategy" is most notable for what it doesn't recommend: the sweeping policy changes advocated by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education, which seek to remove a range of state restrictions and limitations on how digital learning products are accessed, supervised and funded.
The six-page report, overseen and composed by Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen, suggests that Gov. Paul LePage's administration has slowed its effort to implement the controversial provisions of the Bush foundation's Digital Learning Now! initiative. [emphasis mine]Jeb!'s FEE is, of course, nothing more than a front for the education-industrial complex, especially the virtual learning sector. FEE has basically written the legislation in Maine that would have opened the floodgates to virtual schools, which have a terrible track record nationwide.
Well, unlike many other states, at least the Democrats in Maine have figured out that giving buckets of money to the Tisch family so they can slap up "schools" with no requirements for instructional time or class size is probably a losing proposition with the voters:
Of course, you can count on Governor Paul LePage to veto any such moratorium; after all, that's why K12 Inc. pays him the big bucks.
Unfortunately for LePage and Bowen, all that campaign money, and all that lobbying by K12, can't change the sad fact that virtual schooling is a disaster that the voters do not want to support. And they can try to back away from it now, saying they're "slowing down" because "there's more work to be done," but that won't change the fact that cyber charters suck.
If LePage and Bowen want to keep their jobs, they're going to have to decide who they are loyal to: Jeb! Bush, the Tisches, and K12 Inc....
... or the taxpayers and students of Maine.
If Bowen puts the students' needs first, how can I make any money?!