chapter  7
20 Pages

Equal Scrutiny

The Promise of Digital Education in Disadvantaged Communities and How Markets Corrupt This Potential
WithPatricia Burch

This chapter presents the analysis draws from a larger study of three types of ­contracting in digital education: digital curriculum, digital schools, and digital tutoring. Digital education is viewed as a means for expanding the equality of educational opportunities for historically disadvantaged students. Digital education is a global market. In places like India and Brazil with emerging economies, edupreneurs, such as Samudra Sen of LearningMate, are doing ­billions of dollars of education technology business across 40 countries, and are now seeking entrance to the US market. An important part of the struggle toward accountability in digital education is to ensure equal scrutiny of vendors' practices and choices in these areas, which should be included in or integral to any comprehensive effort for addressing quality and equity in digital education. Beneath the limited research on whether and how digital education improves student outcomes is a relatively ignored but critically important issue of central concern in public policy: the issue of equity.