Here's the article.
This not the kind of headline you will find in an ed tech journal. While this certainly doesn't represent all on-line schools in all states, here is an excerpt from the article about the major issues facing Colorado on-line schools.
This may be a cautionary tale or an aberration. You tell me.
Overall online education issues
• ACADEMIC STRUGGLES
An analysis of student data over three years found online students perform worse on state exams than their peers across Colorado, and the performance gaps are larger in middle and high school. On average, the audit found, online students' performance on state exams actually declines over time.
• TEACHER QUALITY QUESTIONS
Five of the 12 online schools audited did not appear to comply with either state licensing requirements or with federal rules mandating teachers have completed college courses in their subjects. Hope, for example, had four licensed teachers for 1,500 students.
• OVERSIGHT LACKING
Colorado Department of Education officials did not follow their own monitoring rules. Despite recurring problems with online programs in four of seven school districts reviewed in the audit, state officials did not place them on academic probation.
Online schools typically said their student achievement was poor because their kids are "at risk," but there is no standard definition for that term. Some schools said their students were at risk if they had jobs or participated in rodeo programs."