Charter, Domestic, Education level, Education Quality, K-12, Markets, Organizations & Institutions, Policy, Public, Required, Technology - Written by on Thursday, August 30, 2012 6:00 - 0 Comments

Diving Into E-Learning Without Testing the Waters? Hold On Public Education, Wait a Sec..

By seoirseosial via Flickr under CreativeCommons

U.S. health care places a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, which without, that system would crumble. When it comes to education it gets complicated. There are many gray areas that are prone to pressures influencing decision-making nationally, at the state level in districts and in schools. There is an urgency in public education reform to use technology now- the notion that you are more likely damned if you don’t is driving the train. There are two trends in online learning affecting public school students- one is schools offering online courses in K-12. Florida recently mandated that students take at least one online course in order to graduate from high school. The second, is public school students are enrolling in full-time virtual schools.  But how does it compare to face-to-face learning?

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post, reported on this issue and on findings of a study by the National Education Policy Center at U. Colorado at Boulder, Online K-12 Schooling in the U.S.: Uncertain Private Ventures in Need of Public Regulation:
The 5 Dominant Companies in the Space:

  • K12 Inc.
  • Education Options Inc.
  • Apex Learning
  • Plato: A+LS
  • Connections Education

(acquired by Pearson in September 2011)

Three key steps to improve online education in the report: 

*There should be financial audits of these schools to figure out how much it cost to educate each student so states can reimburse them without being ripped off. Some privately run virtual schools, the report said, ask states to reimburse them for tuition at the same per-pupil funding rate as traditional schools even though they don’t have the same building and transportation costs as well as different student-teacher ratios.

*Because many schools have no way of knowing for sure who is doing the student’s work when a student is taking a course online, arrangements should be made so that students have to take exams in person, administered by a trusted organization. A few virtual schools now do this.

*Traditional accrediting agencies as well as departments of education in the states and the federal government should create a rigorous accreditation process for all cyber schools.

Use of Cyber Learning in U.S. Public Schools:
  • 40 states have authorized online classes in K-12.
  • Over 30% of the 16 million high school students in the U.S. have been enrolled in at least one online course.
  • 27 states have full-time online schools in operation.
  • More than 200,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools

Have a look at the report.

 Via Report Details Problems With Full-Time Virtual Schools- The Washington Post

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2013-02-15 16:00

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