Virtual "online" schooling may be big on the Republican privatization front, but like the hyped up advertising of private and charter school backers, it's all smoke and mirrors, betting on the insecurities of parents to rake in the profits. Some school districts don't even want local virtual schools included in their average student scores.
But the GOP privateers won't mention this or the following studies every parent thinking about "online" schooling should see. It's a wonder we're even trying this:
Wisconsin Virtual Academy's (WIVA) state test scores vary between grades but are generally lower than McFarland's, which is why the district separates them out when reporting its scores in the spring.
Online Charter Schools Have An “Overwhelming Negative Impact,” Study FindsMore than 200,000 students are enrolled in the online schools, but evidence suggests they are getting a very bad education in return.Watch out for these two:
Online charter schools, which enroll 200,000 students nationwide, have an “overwhelming negative impact” on the academic outcomes of students by almost every measure, according to a series of sweeping national reports released today by three different policy and research centers.
Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO, found that students at online charter schools saw dramatically worse outcomes than their counterparts at traditional, brick-and-mortar schools.
Over the course of a year, cyber school students lost out on the equivalent of 180 days of learning in math and 72 days reading.
CREDO found that more than two-thirds of online charter schools had academic growth that was worse than traditional schools.
The CREDO study found no particular correlation between how schools were managed and the outcomes of online charter students. The online charter sector is dominated two for-profit companies; K12 Inc., a publicly traded education company, and Connections Academy, which is owned by Pearson, the world’s largest education company.
This should scare the daylights out of parents who already have kids online:
In its own report, Mathematica Policy Research found that online charters had dramatically higher student-to-teacher ratios than at brick and mortar schools; more than a third of the schools had more than 50 students to a class. Students at online charter schools received less live contact with teachers in a week than those at traditional schools did in a single school day. The schools lacked support staff like guidance counselors and tutors.
And a third report, by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington, found serious gaps in oversight and funding of online charters by states. The study was funded by the Walton Family Foundation, which has traditionally been highly supportive of charter school growth nationwide.