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Archive for October, 2015

Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: Part one of this report summarized recent legislative activity relative to virtual public schooling.  Part two surveyed the academic research on virtual schools.  Part three, which I review in this post, provides raw data on the number of online schools in operation, the providers that run them, and the students who attend them.  (more…)

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Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This post summarizes the second of three sections of this report.  For a summary of section one, which surveys recent legislative activity concerning virtual schooling, click here.  For a summary of section three, which provides data about the number of online schools and the type of students attending them, click here.

Section two surveys the research literature on virtual schools.  It was written by Michael K. Barbour of Sacred Heart University.

Barbour begins with the general statement that despite the fact that we’ve had 20 years now of virtual schooling, the research base for this form of education remains very weak.  (more…)

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Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This report is the second in a projected annual series of reports published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).  The first report was published in 2013 and can be read here.

The 2013 report chronicled the 311 full-time virtual schools enrolling around 200,000 students, 67% of whom were being taught in schools run by Education Managament Organizations, or EMOs.  The largest such organization is K12.  The report also found that despite serving a student population that has fewer Black, Latin@, poor, or special needs children than attend conventional public schools, academic achievement at virtual schools lagged significantly behind brick-and-mortars.  (more…)

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