The iLearn Project was created in 2010 when the Evergreen Freedom Foundation recognized that online learning is changing the way the world does school — for the better.
Washington enjoys the presence of a variety of high quality curriculum providers, many courageous school districts, and even more positively fearless innovators. Still, online learning faces opposition from a number of corners. If not addressed, that opposition could cut online learning off at the knees.
First, in spite of the entrepreneurial spirit passed down from Washington’s first pioneers, our education establishment has maintained a relentless loyalty to the status quo. Many powerful organizations resist reforms that affect the way schools operate. And online learning does just that. If you’re a student, parent, or online learning teacher, though, you know it does it for the better. Only when enough Washingtonians grasp that online learning is a positive disruption will it be safe.
Meanwhile some groups will be threatened by online learning and will do all they can to rob it of the freedom and flexibility that allows it to meet unique student needs.
Lastly, many legislators have yet to grasp what public online learning is. Many mistake it for an extra program that can be cut when the budget gets tight.
The Freedom Foundation has supported learning-effective, cost-effective public education options since its founding. We recognized that online learning opened countless doors for students. Anticipating it would face opposition sooner or later, the Freedom Foundation had spent months doing research on its history in our state. We were sure the time would come when online learning options would be threatened and families would have to come together and defend it. No one knew that time was just around the corner.
That’s why the Freedom Foundation created the iLearn Project. We exist to protect and advocate public online learning options, to offer networking opportunities for participants across regions and providers, to provide a platform for telling the stories of online learning, and to highlight research and policy recommendations for the expansion of public online learning options in Washington state.