Virtual School Meanderings

September 22, 2012

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Online educator is questioned over high student-teacher ratios
Teachers at K12, the nation’s largest online educator, could be responsible for teaching as many as 275 students each, according to company documents. The company has come under scrutiny in Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee for poor student performance and its high student-teacher ratio. Now, Florida is examining whether the company uses teachers who may not be properly certified. Florida Today (Melbourne) (tiered subscription model) (9/17)

Some districts require students to take online courses
Some states, including Alabama, Florida, Idaho and Michigan, require students to take at least one course online to graduate. Now, some school districts are instituting such mandates on their own, saying that online instruction is necessary to prepare students for college and career. School districts also say that offering some courses online will help them cut costs. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (8/29)

Some Ohio districts to hold online classes on snow days
In Ohio, 120 of the state’s 614 school districts have applied to use online lessons on snow days — also known as “calamity days” — 20 more than in the previous school year. Under the option, districts choosing to participate can allow students to access online lessons when school is closed. Four schools tested the program in 2011, but none used the option last school year because of a mild winter. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (8/27)

Next, Education Week’s EdWeek Update.


Quality Control a Challenge for Virtual Ed.
Different approaches are emerging as states try to determine how to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual schools.

Read more from our new report, Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules.

And also Education Week’s Digital Directions.


Virtual Ed. Companies Work to Influence Maine State Policy
K12 Inc. of Herndon, Va., and Baltimore-based Connections Education are both seeking to expand online offerings and to open full-time virtual charter schools in Maine. (Education Week)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Hoosier Academy: A Virtual Education
Indiana’s NewsCenter
That’s when they discovered Hoosier Academy, a virtual school. “I thought it was going to be difficult and a little bit harder because there’s not that much of a schedule. But it turned out a lot nicer, a lot easier,” said Blake, a 7th grade virtual …
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In K12 Courses, 275 Students to a Single Teacher
Student-teacher ratios at K12, the nation’s largest online educator, are nearly twice as high as Florida’s state-run virtual school, according to internal company documents obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and StateImpact Florida.
See all stories on this topic »

Some Florida School Districts Not Checking For K12 Problems
StateImpact Florida
Petley said the district’s virtual school principal checks to make sure teachers are properly certified. The district has removed one student from a K12 class because the teacher wasn’t properly certified, he said. But not every school district is …
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IA: State’s virtual school provider under fire
Montana Watchdog
By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog. DES MOINES — Florida’s top education leaders are investigating allegations that a for-profit company that also contracts with an Iowa school district used improperly certified teachers and then had other staff cover …
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Audubon students embrace virtual learning
Cherry Hill Courier Post
And though they were born in an era of all things technological, this virtual school within a school is still a twist in their everyday education. Students are not only enrolled in an array of online courses, the program also connects them with peers …
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Virtual School Questioned
ABQ Journal
Most of the students enrolled in Farmington’s newest charter school don’t live in Farmington. Last month, the New Mexico Virtual Academy began offering online classes to 500 students in grades six through 12, most of whom live in Bernalillo County.
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‘Virtual school’ has benefited many Tennessee families
The Tennessean
I read with interest the (Sept. 6) editorial “Kids can’t afford to be set back by ‘virtual school.’ ” As the parent of a very happy Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA) student, it is important your readers know the full story. TNVA is a Tennessee public …
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K12, Inc. under more scrutiny for high teacher caseloads
The Progressive Pulse
A high school teacher working for K12 may have as many as 275 students, compared to Florida Virtual School, which has a maximum class size of 150. “The concept of one teacher managing 275 or 300 students — it just doesn’t make sense,” said Luis …
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More oversight needed for Florida charter, virtual schools
Broward Virtual School principal Chris McGuire said two teachers oversee those students, but he wants answers from K12 about their practices. “I’m a little concerned with K12,” school board member Robin Bartleman told me. “But basically the Legislature …
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Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Overhauling the school dress code
Chambersburg Public Opinion
“I’ll take them out and put them in cyber school. The younger ones I’ll home school. “The school board needs to remember that they didn’t want to be told …

Pa. Cyber Charter School fires four top officials
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The three-story brick office building at 735 Midland Ave. that houses the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The …

abc27 WHTMAtheists claim Pa. school board has dropped prayer
News Minute: Here is the latest Pennsylvania news from The Associated Press. The board of the state’s largest cyber school has fired four top administrators. The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is confirming the firings but isn’t saying if the …
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Pittsburgh schools try to keep black board seats
… Pennsylvania news from The Associated Press. The board of the state’s largest cyber school has fired four top administrators. The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is confirming the firings but isn’t saying if the firings are related to a federal …
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Cyber school fires 4
Morning Journal News
MIDLAND, Pa. – The board of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School fired four top administrators and severed ties with its legal counsel, a spokeswoman for the school confirmed Tuesday. The school’s finances have been under the scrutiny of federal …
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