DISTANCE LEARNING: EVALUATE K -12 VIRTUAL ONLINE SCHOOLS
- The U.S.
Department of Education has released its first guide to evaluating K-12 online-learning
programs. The report comes at a time when online education is growing rapidly, notes Education
Week, and school districts have been turning increasingly to online courses to fill a range of
instructional and support needs. But methods for evaluating online education have failed to keep up with
its swift growth, varying application, and complexity. The 68-page guide, "Evaluating Online
Learning: Challenges and Strategies for Success," draws lessons from seven recent evaluations of
online programs and instructional resources. It was prepared by WestEd , Inc., based in San Francisco.
- ONLINE SCHOOLS FLUNK AUDIT
A recently released state audit described a booming online education system with poor student
performance, sloppy accounting and lax oversight of taxpayer dollars by the Colorado Department of
Education. Just 7 percent of 10th-graders enrolled in online schools could do grade-level math, compared
with 31 percent statewide during the 2005-06 school year. The audit team, which made 16 recommendations,
urged the Education Department to place a moratorium on new public online schools until problems
revealed in the audit are fixed. From 2003 to 2006, the number of online schools in Colorado has
increased from 12 to 18, and the number of students has more than tripled -- from 1,900 to about 6,200
-- according to the report. Annual funding for online schools jumped from $8.4 million to $32.8 million
during the same period. But there has been little to no state monitoring over the quality of those
students' education or how those public tax dollars are being spent, reports Karen Rouse and
Jennifer Brown in the Denver Post. Rather, the report detailed a troubled system in which students
enrolled in online schools performed worse on state reading, writing and math exams than their peers
across the state for the last three years; online students dropped out or repeated grades at higher
rates than students statewide; and at least five online schools appeared to violate requirements that
teachers are highly qualified. Auditors also found that public dollars were subsidizing private school
tuition at some Hope Online learning centers.
- Online Schools Under
- Los Angeles Times reports . It cites figures from the North American Council for Online
Learning projecting growth of 30% a year. "Nearly half the states offer public school classes
online, and last year Michigan became the first in the nation to require students to take an online
course to graduate from high school. In California, a state senator introduced a bill last week to allow
public high school students to take online classes without depriving schools of the state funding they
receive for attendance." Why do students enroll? "Online schools are also popular with
home-schooled children, with students who are devoting large blocks of time to such activities as
ballet, acting or tennis, as well as students who don't enjoy a traditional school atmosphere or who
need to work.
- Online school & Projects 1997
(kept for historical context)
The School Study Council has launched SSCOnline, a new virtual campus that offers small, highly
interactive classes customized by each instructor. The 10 week graduate level courses...
- Who owns the IP of K-12 Online Content?