Despite data that show graduates from virtual high schools perform worse, Congress has placed language into a bill that requires the armed forces to end their quota on cyber students.
According to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the House Armed Services Committee inserted the requirement into the 2012 Defense Budget that President Obama signed into law last Saturday.
Along with G.E.D. holders, graduates of cyber schools had been placed in a second tier of military applicants, with the maximum quota for Tier 2 students being ten percent for the Army, five percent for the Navy and one percent for the Air Force.
And the armed forces have good reasons for limiting the number of students they accept who study online under the “anytime, anywhere” regime. According to Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez: “Years of research and experience show recruits with a traditional high school diploma are more likely to complete their initial three years of service.”
She has the data to back up the military’s concern. Recruitment records going back to the advent of computers and the internet show that 28 percent of traditional school graduates leave the military before completing their terms of service, while 39 percent of the Tier 2 students default.
As cyber students attempt doctoral study in college, similar weaknesses have likewise appeared as university graduate schools gain experience with virtual school students. Each month, more university professional programs at the doctoral level are likewise denying transfer credit for online courses.
Despite the fact that cyber students have a worse track record and are substantially more likely to not complete their terms of service and thereby cost the military more, our politicians appear eager to ignore military policies based on their direct experience with cyber kids and their poor track record.
Following the “No Child Left Behind” disaster, it is not surprising that our legislators in Washington continue to pass laws that ignore the realities in education. Perhaps they will also consider repealing the law of gravity, rounding off the value of pi to 3.00, and outlawing tornadoes.