Arne Duncan makes a startling admission: online learning doesn't work

At the conclusion of the NBC Education Nation conference in New York today, writer William Doyle (co-author with James Meredith of  A MISSION FROM GOD) asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a question involving billions of dollars of taxpayer funds.

The video below is hard to hear, but here is a transcript of the substance of the conversation, which began before the video rolled:

Doyle: "Are you aware of the fact that your own What Works Clearinghouse [U.S. Department of Education research department] has found virtually no [K-8] technology interventions with solid evidence of academic benefit [exception: special needs and distance learners]?"

Secretary Duncan: "We're nuts on that. We've gotta fix it. It's a big problem. John Easton runs the IESD, have you talked to John?"

Doyle: "No, is that the What Works Clearinghouse?"

Secretary Duncan: "It comes out of his shop. This is not my first time hearing it. I haven't fixed it. I gotta figure it out. I got it. [ex-Apple exec] Karen Cator on my staff is my tech guru, she is phenomenal. She totally gets this."

Doyle: "I think maybe we should stop spending all these [many billions of] dollars [on those K-8 technology products that don't have strong evidence of academic benefit] until we validate it."

Secretary Duncan: "Talk to John."

Additional note from William Doyle: "Personally, I believe in the effective use of technology for learning by older children, once it has been found to have strong evidence of academic benefit through independent research. I am not certain that when Secretary Duncan said "I haven't fixed it," he meant the technology or the research."

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