The shocking politics of online learning

Parties both support online learning, just different forms, and for different reasons

ecnaprilstory200A Republican governor and a Democratic governor in 1996 teamed up to convince the leaders of 17 states to create the all-online, competency-based Western Governors University. It was as bipartisan a venture as one could hope to find in politics.

“It was the liberal governor of Colorado, Roy Romer, and the conservative governor of Utah, Michael Levitt, who joined forces to create this new university,” said Russ Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis for WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. “It grew out of a joint frustration of the existing public systems in their states to meet the needs of their growing populaces and to be innovative.”

At the time, few outside of those states paid much attention to the young university and the bipartisan effort that produced it. Nearly 20 years later,WGU is now a fully accredited institution with 40,000 students – and online education as a whole is receiving more political attention than ever before.…Read More