The publication of this article first came across my radar screen via the Distance-Educator.com.
Virtual Charter Schools: Realities and Unknowns
Journal of Distance Education VOL. 27, No. 1
Virtual charter schools have emerged over the last decade as an increasingly popular alternative to traditional public schooling. Unlike their face-to-face counterparts, virtual charter schools educate students through blended or entirely online curricula. They present a host of new policy issues that should be scrutinized in order to ensure that students enrolled in virtual charter schools are receiving an adequate, if not excellent, education. This article explores the landscape in which virtual charter schools have emerged and describes their operation. Finally, the article discusses some of the challenges, opportunities, and key research recommendations associated with virtual charter schools.
Au cours de la dernière décennie, de plus en plus d’écoles à charte virtuelle ont vu le jour en tant qu’alternative populaire aux écoles publiques traditionnelles. Contrairement à leur équivalent face à face, les écoles à charte virtuelle font l’éducation des étudiants par le biais d’un programme de formation hybride ou entièrement en ligne. Elles font valoir une quantité de nouvelles questions stratégiques qui devraient être examinées soigneusement en vue de s’assurer que les étudiants inscrits dans les écoles à charte virtuelle reçoivent une éducation adéquate ou excellente. Cet article examine l’aménagement dans lequel les écoles à charte virtuelle ont vu le jour et décrit leur mode de fonctionnement. Finalement, l’article discute quelques-uns des défis, opportunités et recommandations clés de recherche associés aux écoles à charte virtuelle.
I will be honest and disclose that I reviewed this manuscript at one point – I’m not sure if it was for this journal or for another journal from an earlier submission by the author. In my review I raised concerns about the confounding of the terms virtual school and virtual charter school, and the fact that the author often used literature that focused on virtual supplemental schools and applied it incorrectly or in a misleading way towards virtual charter schools. I also felt that the manuscript was a bit of a cheerleading piece, as the research literature on virtual charter schools paints a pretty bleak picture about their value and success.
Many of these issues still exist within the published article, so I would advise that you consider the source and what form of virtual schooling they are referring to when you read this article. As a quick guide, the citations related to myself, the Canadian Council for Learning, Cathy Cavanaugh, Tom Clark, Larry Kuehn, and Barbara Means are all focused on virtual supplemental schools – and as such have no applicability to virtual charter schools or the case the author is trying to make.