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 Scrutiny
- 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?