The boss of Michigan’s teacher union offers up several criticisms of online learning. I take them on.

Among other things, David Cook of the Michigan Education Association claims:

  • “there is no reliable evidence showing that these virtual institutions are an effective alternative to traditional brick-and-mortal schools.”
  • Students in online schools lack “vital social skills,” putting them at a “huge disadvantage.”
  • Students in online schools fail to get a “well-rounded education.”
  • “Advocates for full-time virtual learning are more interested in increasing their profits than investing in our children.”
  • Rampant cheating occurs in online schooling.

I didn’t have space to address all the objections, and I won’t do so here, either. It is certainly possible to oversell the possibilities of online learning. Overselling, after all, has been part of public education’s legacy in this country. But online learning can be a vital component in the task of educating children, and legislators and taxpayers strangle it at their peril.