Virtual School Meanderings

June 28, 2017

[AECT] News & Notes – June 26, 2017

A newsletter from Monday’s inbox.

June 26, 2017

NEWS&NOTESThe purpose of each weekly issue is to provide information and to engage members in the diverse opportunities and activities of your association.

SUMMER BOARD AND LEADERSHIP MEETING. Plans are being finalized for the 2017 Summer Board & Leadership Meeting, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, Florida, July 24-25, 2017. If you haven’t already registered, please do so. Details regarding registration and hotel reservations are available on the AECT website.

GREAT SUMMER FUN AHEAD! The AECT Foundation is once again holding the annual fundraising auction at the Summer Board and Leadership Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday evening, July 17.  Don’t forget to bring your items for sale plus your Christmas gift lists. Expect lots of fun, laughter, and great finds while supporting the Foundation’s continued efforts in awarding scholarships, internships, fellowships, and leadership-training programs for AECT. If you can’t make it to the event, your monetary gifts will be welcomed or we can have someone join in the bidding in your name.  Contact Ana Donaldson if you would like to participate virtually or make a contribution.

AECT SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY (2017). AECT is trying to learn more about how AECT members use social media in their professional lives. Please help us by completing a short survey of six questions. Thank you for your support.

EMERGING TECH SHOWCASE V2. We have received 40 proposals for the Emerging Tech Showcase V2, and we’re looking forward to learning more about mixed reality, the newest apps, and beyond in Jacksonville.

2017 DDL MEMBER SURVEY. Don’t forget! The DDL Member Survey will remain open through July 7. Please take a moment to complete the survey to help ensure the success of DDL for years to come. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Tonia Dousay.

2017 EARLY CAREER SYMPOSIUM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS. AECT’s Research and Theory Division will be hosting the 2017 Early Career Symposium this year sponsored by AECT. The symposium will be held as a half day online conference October 28th and at the annual AECT International Convention on Tuesday, November 7 (half day 1-6 PM starting with lunch) and Wednesday, November 8 (half day, 7:30AM – noon, ending with lunch together with the AECT Board), 2017, in Jacksonville, Florida. The symposium will thus engage participants in a day and a half of focused career mentoring and networking. Learn how to apply!

Bookmark the AECT website and make it your go-to place for information about your professional association. Check in often. There’s always something new!

Association for Educational Communication and Technology
320 West 8th Street, Suite 101, Bloomington, Indiana 47404
Toll Free: 877-677-AECT Phone: 812-335­-7675 Email:

News from the NEPC: Virtual Schools in Five Key States Show Growth but Poor Performance

From yesterday’s inbox…

Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth.
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Virtual Schools in Five Key States Show Growth but Poor Performance

Key Takeaway: Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth.


NEPC: William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058,
MVLRI Report – Research: Michael K. Barbour: (203) 997-6330,
MVLRI Report – Performance: Gary Miron: (269) 599-7965,
MVLRI Report – Policy: Luis Huerta: (212) 678-4199,

BOULDER, CO (June 27, 2017) – Over the past five years, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) has produced an annual report called Virtual Schools in the U.S.: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence. These reports provide an impartial analysis of the evolution of full-time, publicly funded K-12 virtual and blended schools by examining the policy issues raised by available evidence. They also assess the research evidence that bears on K-12 virtual teaching and learning, and they analyze the growth and performance of such virtual and blended schools.

Building on the April release of the Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2017 report, the lead researchers have engaged with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) to use the data set to undertake a more in-depth analysis of five states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan. The MVLRI published that work today.

These case studies describe the enrollment, characteristics, and performance of virtual and blended schools in each state over the previous year. They also examine the research related to the virtual and blended school characteristics and outcomes, as well as the legislative activities. And they consider the legislation and policies that have been introduced (and enacted) over the past two years.

Based on a national data set, the April NEPC Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2017 report included two key findings: (1) that the growth of full-time virtual schools was fueled, in part, by policies expanding school choice, and (2) that this growth is seen most among the for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) that dominate this sector. All five states follow these national trends. Also, and again consistent with national trends, students that attend the virtual schools in these five states tended to perform quite poorly compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

At the same time, these case studies revealed that the enrollment demographics in each of these states did vary from the national trends. For example, Ohio and Michigan brick-and-mortar schools and virtual schools enrolled similar proportions of White students and students of color (bucking the national trend which found that the majority of students attending virtual charter schools were White), while Idaho and Michigan enrolled higher proportions of free and reduced lunch students (which was the opposite to the national average). Another distinction highlighted by the case studies is that one of the states – Michigan – has seen considerable research into the actual practice of K-12 online learning, and this evidence-based approach appears to be paying off for the Michigan Virtual School.

Find Virtual Schools in the U.S.: Case Studies of Policy, Performance, and Research Evidence, by Michael K. Barbour, Luis Huerta, and Gary Miron, at:

This report was published and funded by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute:

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

Copyright © 2017 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

Note that I am one of the authors of this report.

Webinar: 6/28 at 2pm EDT – Attitudes & Achievement in a Self-paced Blended Setting

Note this session later today…

New webinar session and research opportunities!
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This session will present findings from a study investigating the relationship between students’ achievement and their attitudes in a self-paced blended mathematics course.

Dr. Phoebe Balentyne, Northern Illinois University

Login at at the time of the session to participate!

The Learning Accelerator is piloting a one-year fellowship and is seeking a diverse cohort of individuals who will be conducting research that advances TLA’s measurement agenda for blended learning. Through these fellowships, TLA seeks to catalyze the measurement ecosystem to work together towards the mutual goal of all students receiving an outstanding education, enabling them to reach their full potential. Applications are being accepted from now until August 31, 2017. More information can be found at the TLA website.
The final installment in our series examining K-12 online credit recovery programs in Michigan features a podcast interview with Cindy Swem at Buchanan High School in Buchanan, Michigan. You can read the blog post and stream the podcast episode with our interview to learn more about their program!
Copyright © 2017 Michigan Virtual University, All rights reserved.
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute · 3101 Technology Blvd · Ste G · Lansing, Mi 48910 · USA

EDTECH537 – Blogroll

The final activity for Week 1 in my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom is to create a Blogroll, so today it is time for me to update my blogroll.

Over the weekend, I went in and visited all of the blogs I had listed on my blogroll. I was looking for two things initially, the first was to make sure the link still worked and the second was to see if there had been an entry posted in 2016.

As I reviewed them, I noted that two links did not work, so I had to go in and update the URL (as the address had shifted slighted).  One hadn’t posted in over  year, but since it was the Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Education blog I decided to keep it in the blogroll.

Anyway, blogroll updated – Week 1 tasks complete!

27 June 2017: Google Alert – LRN

The corporate alert for K12, Inc. from yesterday.


As-it-happens update ⋅ June 27, 2017
What’s K12 Inc. (LRN) Upside After Forming Double Top Chart Pattern?

Lapides Asset Ltd Liability Co has invested 0.22% in K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN). Alphamark Advsrs Ltd Limited Liability Company has invested 0.66% of its …
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As-it-happens update ⋅ June 27, 2017
What’s Propelling K12 Inc. (LRN) to Increase? The Stock Formed a Double Top

Moreover, Qs Invsts Limited has 0% invested in K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) for 35,094 shares. Brandywine Global Invest Management holds 0% or 21,030 …
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Insider Selling: K12 Inc (LRN) EVP Sells 5600 Shares of Stock

K12 logo K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) EVP Allison Cleveland sold 5,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock …
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As-it-happens update ⋅ June 27, 2017
K12 Inc (LRN) CFO Sells $182000.00 in Stock

K12 logo K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) CFO James Jeaho Rhyu sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 21st.
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