Are cyber charters a way to ‘hide’ from child welfare scrutiny? Some Pa. superintendents say yes

Whyy
by Avi Wolfman-Arent
10/21/2019

On October 3, 2018, sometime before dawn, a toddler wandered alone from his home on the edge of a small Schuylkill County town and into a nearby car.

Responding to a neighbor’s call, police arrived to find the three-year-old wearing only a diaper that “was completely filled and was hanging down to his knees,” according to an officer’s notes...

Michael Barbour, a professor at Touro University who studies virtual education, says there’s little academic research on how cyber schools monitor child welfare. But he thinks virtual schools are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to keeping tabs on student well-being.

“I think it would be very difficult in a primarily asynchronous environment for a teacher or any other online school personnel to notice … behavioral changes,” he said. “It would be of a concern.”

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