Virtual School Meanderings

November 26, 2011

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the SmartBrief on EdTech.

Online K-12 schools partner with top universities
Students who attend the online Education Program for Gifted Youth will now receive diplomas from Stanford Online High School, after the university agreed to attach its name to the online institution. Supporters say the partnership marks a significant milestone for online K-12 learning and the alignment of secondary and higher education. Critics, however, fear such partnerships could lend credibility to lower-quality programs. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/19)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Schools vary in AP exams
Black Hills Pioneer
Bodi Williams, a senior at Lead-Deadwood High School, works on his online … the South Dakota Virtual School at no cost to the district or to the student, …

Editorial: A closer look at cyberschools
Memphis Commercial Appeal
And K12 got off to a rocky start in August when public schools had opened but many of the applicants to the virtual school were idle. …

Virtual schools, real problems
The Free Lance-Star
BY CHELYEN DAVIS BY CHELYEN DAVIS Last year, Virginia legislators passed a law allowing private companies and school districts to run virtual school …

Virtual schools in Virginia seek a funding formula
News Virginian
Under the state law, a school district contracts with one of the state’s 13 approved virtual school providers. The McDonnell administration is currently …

FSU Student Advanced to Rhodes Scholarship Final Round
All the while, she continued to take Advanced Placement courses online through the Florida Virtual School, and soon earned her GED — again with a perfect …

Study: New Virtual School Funding Model Needed in Va.
Education Week News
(MCT) Last year, Virginia legislators passed a law allowing private companies and school districts to run virtual school programs. …

School district looks into more Punjabi classes
By Vikki Hopes – Abbotsford News The Abbotsford school district is now formally … Blue Jay and Harry Sayers elementaries; and Abbotsford Virtual School. …

Michigan Charter And Cyber School Bills Lack Quality Controls
Huffington Post
The virtual school bill passed the Senate in a narrow 20-18 vote at the end of October. It is unclear when the House will take up the issue. …

Private school options considered for unaccredited districts’ students
The last session of the Joint Interim Committee on School Accreditation was … expanding online virtual school options for parents who want that to help …

School District To Hold Public Meeting on Proposed Virtual Charter School
The virtual school has proposed to serve 1000 K-12 students statewide in its first year. State officials calculated the projected cost by attributing the maximum possible enrollment to Teaneck students, but the school plans to accept students from …
See all stories on this topic »

Article Rebuts Assertion That Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools
StateImpact Florida
Fang, he says, repeatedly suggested that Florida Virtual School is private. Florida Virtual School is actually a state-run, public institution that offers a K-12 education. Tucker calls the school “a poster child for public sector innovation. …
See all stories on this topic »

Give Me Your Rich; Keep Those Poor Huddled Masses Away
Huffington Post
She also anticipates lawmakers considering the expansion of charter schools, encouraging surrounding school districts to open their own charters in the St. Louis City Limits, expanding online virtual school options for parents who want that to help …
See all stories on this topic »

Ballot initiative seeks to expand access to online education
This month, Haglund, principal of the Riverside Virtual School, an online independent study program run by the Riverside Unified School District, introduced a statewide ballot initiative that would give students unrestricted access to publicly funded …
See all stories on this topic »

NC’s online public school facing $3M shortfall
The Virginian-Pilot
The virtual school receives $20 million for its budget, which is divided among school systems based on previous enrollment. Teachers are paid to teach online courses that often are hard to find in districts or don’t fit a student’s schedule. …
See all stories on this topic »

Metro schools applaud progress
The Tennessean
Also on Tuesday, the school board approved a $443223 curriculum by Scholastic for its 144 pre-K providers, to be paid from the state lottery grant, and a $594640 contract with Blackboard Inc. for its Virtual School. The 24-hour access will allow …
See all stories on this topic »

Teaneck: Letters, Nov. 24
With a proposed total enrollment statewide of one thousand students, it is likely that there will be only a handful of students from Teaneck, even though the new school’s offices are to be located in the Township — even a Virtual school requires a …
See all stories on this topic »

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Uganda: Bribery Cited in Shs11 Billion Education Project
Kampala — Controversy has arisen over a $3.9m contract awarded to M/S Cyber School Technology solutions by the ministry of education. …

Berkley School District: Response
Michigan Capitol Confidential
Regarding the “five to nine ‘local’ residents”, if a cyber school draws students from all across the state, how “local” are these residents? …

The Talon: Hacking into Hackers
As a cyber school, we spend the majority of our time online leaving us even more vulnerable to hackers. Although most of us are aware of hackers and what …

Not the Old Way of Doing Home Schooling
MyFox Detroit
They learn these things from the Michigan Virtual Charter School. It’s a cyber school that is located wherever you live. “Our children can’t choose where …

Golden Times: Student Thrives in Cyber School
Kayla is enrolled in the Solanco cyber school so she can graduate early, then go to college and work towards being a vet. She knows that a lot of hard work …

We granted review to determine whether a public school district is obligated to fund a kindergarten program offered by a cyber charter school for a …

Concerns over $3.9m ICT contract
Controversy has arisen over a $3.9m contract awarded to M/S Cyber School Technology solutions by Uganda’s Ministry of Education. This comes after donors cut …


  1. The latest iNACOL report on Online Learning in Canada deserves closer critical scrutiny and is attracting fire in Canada for painting a rosy picture of the situation.

    The reliability of the report has been raised with Tom Van Ark on his Getting Smarter blog. My own Education Blog, Educhatter, offers this summary of this relatively minor tempest in the otherwise “Peaceable Kingdom”:

    “Michael K. Barbour’s latest iNACOL report on Online Learning in Canada (November 2011) at is a complete mishmash. It’s cobbled together from a series of reports from IT directors and others inside the system. After identifying Teacher Contracts and regulations as a problem in 2009-2010, he is now singing a different tune:

    “A variety of initiatives are driving online and blended learning in each of Canada’s provinces and territories. From teachers’ unions in Nova Scotia fighting to ensure online learning is an accepted method of educational delivery, to Ontario’s College of Teachers creating an e-learning endorsement for teachers or the British Columbia government creating policies to expand the growth and opportunities online learning provides, there are multiple, isolated initiatives happening across the country.”

    Yet, strangely enough, he still offers this summary conclusion:

    “In order for online and blended learning opportunities to expand for all students in Canada, local government leaders need to create policies to remove the barriers that prevent access to these innovations; universities must provide training and experiences for both pre-service and in-service teachers to use these tools in their classrooms; and administrators need to provide the leadership to implement and support their teachers, these courses, and digital resources in their schools.”

    The published report differs sharply from an independent research study prepared for the Atlas Economic Foundation but is neither cited, nor acknowledged in the iNACOL report. That study, entitled, “The Sky has Limits” (April 28,2011), will be published, and offer a different interpretation at odds with the rosy picture painted by Barbour and his colleagues. It will also demonstrate that choosing British Columbia as the Canadian example in the iNACOL international study is incredibly misleading, since most other provinces trail far behind in implementing online learning.

    “Academic research on Online Learning is in its infancy. That may explain why Barbour’s annual iNACOL reports carry far more weight that they should in the public policy arena.”.

    Comment by Paul W. Bennett — November 26, 2011 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • Paul, I thank you for the comment – although I’m unsure why you posted it on this latest collection of news items on virtual schooling (as opposed to the entry actually announcing this year’s report, see Canadian Distance Learning On The Rise, Acorrding To New Report).

      I have to be honest and say that I’ve searched Tom’s Getting Smart website, and I can find no reference to the Canada report there. The only references I find that have my name in there are an entry on the recent iNACOL international survey report and a reference to my blog. I did read your union bashing, neo-conservative response to the report and thought that it was ill-informed and ideologically motivated.

      Then again, I suppose it would also be nice if you actually read the report before you decided to propagate your neo-conservative views about it. First of all, both of the items that you quote are from the Forward, which was written by Allison Powell, the Vice President of State and District Services for iNACOL. I had no editorial control over what Allison wrote and don’t necessarily subscribe to her conclusions.

      On the inclusion of British Columbia in the Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice from K-12 Schools Around the World report (which I was one of nine authors), it was decided that since iNACOL was releasing the State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada report at the same time, and the fact that there wasn’t the space in the report to prepare thirteen different responses (given that each province and territory has its own system), it was decided to include the jurisdiction that was the most structured. This is explained in the actual report (or did you not read that one either?).

      The decision not to include the Canada case study that was submitted by the Atlas Economic Foundation in the Online and Blended Learning: Case Studies from K-12 Schools Around the World (which I was one of three editors) was because the document was incredibly politically motivated, and simply put an example of conservative union bashing. It was also ill-researched summary of my State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada reports, I say ill-researched because there were almost a dozen errors in the first five pages of the document.

      I agree that academic research is still a growing part of this field, although I suspect there is more of it available than you are aware of. I can tell you that State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada reports are written by me. While I welcome input and provide numerous opportunities for Ministry/Department officials and key stakeholder to have feedback, at the end of the day the contents are based on my own conclusions of the current state of affairs in each province and territory. One of the advantages of being in an academic environment is that I don’t have to

      Actually, the more I read your comment, I think you are attempting to combine these three separate reports into a single, misguided understanding of what each of the three documents have to say. However, if you want to post more of this neo-conservative drivel, I’ll be happy to respond.

      Comment by mkbnl — November 26, 2011 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  2. Virtual Schooling In The News « Virtual School Meanderings…

    Virtual Schooling In The News « Virtual School Meanderings:…

    Trackback by Teaching and Developing Online — December 18, 2011 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: