Virtual School Meanderings

July 28, 2014

Plugged In | 07.28.14 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final item from the neo-liberals on what is a slower blogging day as I get started again…

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Getting Smart
To create widespread access to next gen learning opportunities that result in high rates of employability it takes the 7 keys to smart cities: sustained leadership that promotes an innovation mindset, fosters aligned investment, produces collective impact through…
Press-Register | Mobile, AL

Representatives from the Mobile and Baldwin school districts met with the Alabama House Ways and Means education committee on July 23 to discuss technology funding needs. The meeting was an effort to gather ideas on how technology in the schools…

Next Generation Learning Challenges
How do you design a space for next gen learning? At Merit Prep in Newark, New Jersey, personalized learning means that students advance through material at their own pace and demonstrate mastery of standards in ways that reflect critical thinking and creativity…
“We’re all data analysts now,” has become a common refrain in the data analytics world as organizations increasingly rely on data to provide 360 degree views of their businesses and customers and to aid their decision-making. In many ways, this has been true all…
News Tribune | Tacoma, WA
High school dropouts in the Bethel School District will soon have a way to earn their diplomas without stepping foot in a public school. The Bethel Acceleration Academy will open Monday for former students and current students who are not on track to…
Is the relationship between Open Educational Resources (OER) advocates and traditional educational publishing companies like a playground dominated by bullies? Or more like two groups of kids, ignoring each other as much as possible as they play? If current…
Schuyler Sun | Schuyler, NE
Dorothy Schultz never got the chance to go to college. She grew up on a farm in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and a whimpering economy and poor market prices made the cost of higher education too heavy a burden for her family to bear. But the Wood River…
Deseret News | Salt Lake City, UT
In just one month, a recent BYU graduate has made a big splash – and a nice chunk of change – by developing an online course accessed by virtual students via a popular Internet learning platform. Rick Walter, 25, graduated in April with a degree in…
Daily Camera | Boulder, CO
A little more than three years ago, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) created two unique schools to support specific student needs. Boulder Universal is the online school that serves students in grades K-12; Boulder Explore provides enrichment programs…
2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium


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The Pulse Newsletter: Summer Edition

From this past Wednesday’s inbox…

Florida Virtual School
The Pulse. A newsletter for FLVS Parents and Students
The Pulse Newsletter: June and July
Dear Michael,
Your summer edition of The Pulse newsletter has arrived! Stay connected, meet several amazing students, and view the latest copy of Virge – our student magazine! You’ll also find helpful reminders to help make your FLVS experience even better:

Check out the June and July edition here!

The FLVS Team
Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Google Plus FLVS Blog

Florida Virtual School | 2145 MetroCenter Blvd, Ste 200 | Orlando | FL | 32835

EDTECH537 – List Entry: History Of K-12 Online Learning Programs

A while ago, an online Advanced Placement teacher who was in attendance for the Virtual Advanced Placement Conference that was held last month at Binghamton University contacted me to ask me about the history of K-12 online learning programs in the United States, and specifically if there was a listing of the programs and when they first began.  To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a comprehensive list and I sent him some sources to get him started.  Having said that, the idea has been in my head since, so I began to pick and poke at creating my own such list based on what I know on the topic.  And since I’ve got as much done on it as I figure I’ll get done, I thought that it would make good fodder for my first entry – topic of my choosing – for Week 8 of my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course.  So here is the list and the specific references that I have for them.

Private Online Schools

Full-Time, Public Online Schools

Supplemental Online Schools

For-Profit Content Provider


Laurel Springs School (Barbour, 2011)


Choice 2000 (Darrow, 2010)

Utah Electronic High School (Clark, 2003)


Christa McAuliffe Academy (Clark, 2001)


Apex Learning (Clark, 2001)

Basehor-Linwood Virtual Charter School – Kansas (Clark, 2000, Clark, 2001)

Florida Virtual School (Friend & Johnston, 2005)

Virtual High School Global Consortium (Pape, Adams, & Ribeiro, 2005)


Alabama Online High School (Clark, 2001) (Clark, 2000)

University of California UC College Prep Initiative (Clark, 2001; Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

University of Nebraska Independent Study High School Online Diploma Program (Clark, 2000)


Arkansas Virtual High School (Clark, 2001)

Hawaii E-School (Clark, 2001)

Kentucky Virtual High School (Clark, 2000)

Louisiana Virtual Classroom (Clark, 2001)

North Dakota Division of Independent Study (Clark, 2001)

West Virginia Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

Pre-2000 (first referenced in a 2000 publication, but could have began operating earlier)

Babbage Net School (Clark, 2000)

Internet Academy – Federal Way, Washington Public Schools (Clark, 2000)

Mindquest – Bloomington, Minnesota Public Schools (Clark, 2000)

ZipStar Academy (Clark, 2000)


Hawaii E-Charter (Clark, 2001)

Idaho Virtual High School (Clark, 2001)

Illinois Virtual High School (Clark, 2000)

Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School (Clark, 2001; Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Michigan Virtual High School (Clark, 2000)

New Mexico Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

Wisconsin Virtual School (Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Pre-2001 (first referenced in a 2001 publication, but could have began operating earlier)

Abbington Hill School (Clark, 2001)

Academic Systems (Clark, 2001)

Alpha-Omega Academy On (Clark, 2001)

Birdville Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

Brigham Young University Independent Study (Clark, 2001)

CAL Online – Clovis Unified Schools, CA (Clark, 2001)

ChildU – Weston, FL (Clark, 2001)

Clintondale Virtual High School (Clark, 2001)

Clonlara Compuhigh (Clark, 2001)

Compuhigh Online High School (Clark, 2001)

Cumberland County Schools Web Academy (Clark, 2001)

Cyberschool – Lane County Schools, Eugene, OR (Clark, 2001)

Delta Cyber School (Clark, 2001)

Dennison On-Line Internet School (Clark, 2001)

Duncanville Independent School District’s Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

eBranch – Spring Branch Independent School District (Clark, 2001)

eEducation (Clark, 2001)

eSchool – Plano Independent School District (Clark, 2001)

Eldorado Academy (Clark, 2001)

Electronic Charter School (Clark, 2001)

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (Clark, 2001)

Evergreen Internet Academy (Clark, 2001)

Francis Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

Garden Schools – Branson, MO (Clark, 2001)

Gwinnett County Online Campus (Clark, 2001)

Houston Independent School District’s Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

Indiana University High School (Clark, 2001)

Intelligent Education, Inc. (Clark, 2001)

International High School (Clark, 2001)

Internet Home School.Com – Prescott, AZ (Clark, 2001)

JeffcoNet Academy (Clark, 2001)

Juneau Cyber School (Clark, 2001)

KeystoneVirtual High School (Clark, 2001)

Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 – Pennsylvania (Clark, 2001)

Monte Vista On-line Academy (Clark, 2001)

Minnesota Distance Learning Academy (Clark, 2001)

NCS Learn (Clark, 2001)

NetSchool – Hillsboro Schools, OR (Clark, 2001)

Northwest Cyberschool (Clark, 2001)

Oak Meadow Online School (Clark, 2001)

Oakland Virtual Connection (Clark, 2001)

Odyssey Charter School (Clark, 2001)

Oklahoma State University Extension, K12 Distance Learning Academy (Clark, 2001)

Regina Coeli Academy (Clark, 2001)

Rock Hill School District #3 Virtual High School (Clark, 2001)

Salem-Keizer Online (Clark, 2001)

Scholar Classical Tutorials (Clark, 2001)

Scholars’ Online Academy – Tucson, AZ (Clark, 2001)

SeeUonline – Matanuska-Susitna Schools, Palmer, AK (Clark, 2001)

Southern Oregon Online School (Clark, 2001)

Southwest Missouri State University eHighSchool (Clark, 2001)

Spring (Texas) Independent School District’s eBranch (Clark, 2001)

Stanford University, Education Program for Gifted Youth (Clark, 2001)

Sycamore Tree Online (Clark, 2001)

Texas Virtual School (Clark, 2001)

The Einstein Academy Charter School (Clark, 2001)

The Potter’s School (Clark, 2001)

The Trent Schools – Bloomington, IN (Clark, 2001)

University of Missouri-Columbia High School (Clark, 2001)

University of Texas High School (Clark, 2001)

Vilas Interactive Long Distance Alternative School

Virtual Greenbush – Kansas (Clark, 2001)

Virtual School @ Liverpool (Clark, 2001)

Virtual High School @ Prince William County Schools (Clark, 2001)

Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (Clark, 2001)

Willoway Cybershool (Clark, 2001)

WISE Internet High School – Richard Milburn School (Clark, 2001)


Colorado Online Learning (Clark, 2001)

Idaho Digital Learning Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Maryland Virtual Learning Community (Clark, 2001)


Virtual Schools Pilot – Texas (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Pre-2004 (first referenced in a 2004 publication, but could have began operating earlier)

Connections Academy program (x2) – Colorado (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Connections Academy program – Wisconsin (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Florida Connections Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Florida Virtual Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Idaho Leadership Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Idaho Virtual Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Idaho Virtual High School (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

K12, Inc. program (x3) – California (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

K12, Inc program – Colorado (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

K12, Inc program – Wisconsin (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Large Unit District Association – Illinois (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Ohio Virtual Academy (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

TRECA – Ohio (Watson, Winograd, & Kalmon, 2004)

Note that I stopped with 2004, as that takes us up to the first Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning publication.


Barbour, M. K. (2011a). The promise and the reality: Exploring virtual schooling in rural jurisdictions. Education in Rural Australia, 21(1), 1-20.

Clark, T. (2000). Virtual high schools: State of the states – A study of virtual high school planning and preparation in the United States. Center for the Application of InformationTechnologies, Western Illinois University. Retrieved from

Clark, T. (2001). Virtual schools: Trends and issues – A study of virtual schools in the United States. San Francisco, CA: Western Regional Educational Laboratories. Retrieved from

Darrow, Rob (2010). A comparative study between online charter high schools and traditional high schools in California. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, California State University, Fresno, CA.  Retrieved from

Watson, J. F., Winograd, K., & Kalmon, S. (2004). Keeping pace with K–12 online learning: A snapshot of state-level policy and practice. Naperville, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Retrieved from

EDTECH537 – Week 8

Note that because I have been moving this past week, you’ll note that today and tomorrow some backdated entries will appear on the blog. My apologies for the delay on these items.

Today begins week eight or the final weeks of my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course. The students this week have a couple of blogging activities and a couple of assignments that they have to complete by the end of the week (i.e., midnight on Sunday).

The readings for this week are:

  • Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: Academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1), 75-84.
  • Ewins, R. (2005). Who are you? Weblogs and academic identity. E-Learning, 2(4), 368-377.

On the blogging front, they simply have to post two entries, of any kind, on any topic that interests them. The first entry should be posted by the end of the day on Wednesday, 30 July and the second entry by the end of the day on Friday, 01 August.

There are also two assignments that are due this week. The first is a Blogging Plan for the next month. Essentially, I borrowed the activities from these three challenges:

For the second activity, they have will design an activity that uses blogs in your own classroom. I have left this assignment open-ended to allow for the variety of students and subject areas that may be taught by my BSU graduate students.

Finally, I have asked that they continue to use Twitter throughout the week, and to use the hashtag #EDTECH537 for all class related tweets.

Later this morning I will post one sample entry (a List Entry). Tomorrow morning I will post a second sample entry (probably a Commentary or Discussion Entry). Finally, on Wednesday morning I will post a sample entry of the Blogging Plan.

July 27, 2014

Worth A Read

This entry is being posted backdated.

From Friday’s inbox…

Worth A Read

From Caps to Closures: Six Growing Charter School Policy Trends

Posted: 21 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Arianna Prothero shares six policy trends in school choice, based on a report from the Education Commission of the States. “As part of the project, the Education Commission of the States created an online database on how policies line up or vary from state to state.”
UARK Study Shamelessly (& Knowingly) Uses Bogus Measures to Make Charter Productivity Claims

Posted: 21 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Bruce Baker discusses a recent “report” by the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, which compares the relative productivity and efficiency of charter schools. Baker reviewed a previous report from theWalmart group for the Think Twice think tank review project, produced by the National Education Policy Center with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Accountability Shouldn’t Stifle Teacher Creativity and Best Practices

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Amber Jimenez, ELL teacher in Colville, WA, shares her thoughts on teacher creativity and accountability.
9 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: A Practical Guide to Personal Development

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Lynnette Mawhinney reviews 9 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: A Practical Guide to Personal Development by Jacqui Turnbull. “9 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: A Practical Guide to Personal Development (2nd Edition)is a welcome and timely reminder that professional development and ongoing reflecting on teaching practice is just as, if not more, important than the plethora of scripted professional development courses offered to teachers. This book, suited for novice and veteran teachers, grounds the professional back into the importance of reflective work on teaching practice.”
Don’t blame teacher tenure for students’ poor performance

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

In this op-ed from the Indianapolis Star, John R. Staver digs into research evidence and corporate reform. His letter investigates the headline, “Abolishing teacher tenure would boost student performance.”
The ‘Test and Punish’ Trap

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Sara Mead discusses the concepts “support and improve” & “test and punish,” two concepts in the education reform debate. Mead, and her employer, Bellwether Education Partners, continue to advocate for “objective” measures to improve schools, teachers, and teaching quality.
Eliminating Teacher Tenure Versus Improving Teacher Hiring: Why Improving Teacher Hiring Is a Better Bet

Posted: 14 Jul 2014 09:00 PM PDT

Dale Rose shares his thoughts on teacher tenure, teacher turnover, and the importance of hiring strong teachers. Rose recently authored, Hire Better Teachers Now: Using the Science of Selection to Find the Best Teachers for Your School, which digs into the notion that better teachers get better outcomes for students and so improving teacher quality is ONE [emphasis added] critical way to improve schools.
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