Virtual School Meanderings

March 26, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

The Complementary Benefits of Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity in Schools

Posted: 22 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jennifer Ayscue, Erica Frankenberg, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley write about the benefits of racial diversity in schools. They say, “Racially diverse learning environments have positive impacts on academic achievement for students of all races.” And conclude, “The short-term and long-term benefits of racially diverse schools provide the structural and attitudinal foundation for social cohesion in multiethnic, democratic societies such as the United States.”

Where Are All the Black Teachers? Discrimination in the Teacher Labor Market

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Diana D’amico, Robert J. Pawlewicz, Penelope M. Earley, and Adam P. McGeehan published a study that investigates the lack of racial diversity among public school teachers. The researchers found evidence of workplace segregation and discrimination. “The authors call for researchers, policy makers, and school leaders at the district and building levels to examine hiring practices, which may be symptomatic of broader institutional biases, so that they may identify and eliminate inherent prejudices.”

Keep Us Involved in ESSA Plans, Unions and District Leaders Tell State Chiefs

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Andrew Ujifusa writes about a letter sent by national representatives of school officials to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The letter expresses disappointment that the U.S. Department of Education removed a key requirement that states detail their work with stakeholder groups in their consolidated plans for ESSA. “Nonetheless, they say the group has an obligation to make sure each chief ‘demonstrates clearly and explicitly in each state plan how stakeholders were involved in its development, and how they will continue this engagement during implementation, review, and future revisions.’”

White House Budget Proposal Undermines Public Education, Discards Nation’s Values

Posted: 15 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Joetta Sack-Min shares concerns that member associations of the Learning First Alliance (LFA) have with the White House proposal to cut $9 billion in funding for public education and the U.S. Department of Education.

EBSCO Alerts

ebscoFirst, I did receive the alert for virtual school this week, but there were no relevant items.

Next, I also received the alert for cyber school, but there were again no relevant items.

Finally, once again I did not receive the alert for K-12 online learning.

So nothing to report this week.

March 25, 2017

REMINDER: iNACOL Webinar | 3/28: Course Access: Improving Student Access to Advanced Coursework

And from the neo-liberals…

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Course Access: Improving Student Access to Advanced Coursework 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
2:00p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET (register)

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) will host a webinar to explore how course access programs can provide students with more access to advanced coursework and extended educational pathways.

Every student deserves access to the courses she or he needs for success in college and careers. However, too many students, and in particular those from traditionally underserved backgrounds, face significant inequities. According to the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Only 50% of U.S. high schools offer calculus and only 63% offer physics.
  • Black and Latino students make up 37% of high school students but only account for 18% of students passing an AP exam.
  • Amongst high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students, one quarter do not offer algebra II, and one third do not offer chemistry.

A promising solution is course access. Course access provides public school students with expanded course offerings across learning environments from diverse, accountable providers. It is a statewide program through which students can gain equitable access to a variety of courses in a programmatic effort to increase access, quality and equity in public education.

This webinar will share a national perspective on course access programs and policies, and highlight promising practices and lessons learned from the Louisiana Supplemental Course Academy and the Rhode Island Advanced Coursework Network. In addition, the presenters will discuss new opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which allows significant flexibility to states and districts to use federal funds “to improve student access to advanced courses and a well-rounded education.”

iNACOL CEO Susan Patrick said, “By offering students access to courses that might not otherwise be available in their schools, course access can help close the opportunity gap and increase access and equity to a quality public education.”

This webinar is free to attend — participants are invited to register here for final details and login information.

Webinar Title: Course Access: Improving Student Access to Advanced Coursework


Share this Webinar on Twitter:

  • Join upcoming @nacol #Webinar – #CourseAccess: Improving #Student Access to Advanced Coursework. Register: #edpolicy

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our websitelike us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter

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These New Articles For Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning Are Available Online

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[AECT] DDReads: Chat and Webinar


This may be of interest to some…

How do we design and develop learning instances for learners from diverse backgrounds? What challenges persist in addressing the digital divide? This inaugural session of #AECTDDREADS will explore potential directions for researchers and practitioners regarding issues of equity and diversity.

Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt | Associate Professor, University of Florida

Ritzhaupt, A., Liu, F., Dawson, K., & Barron, A. (2013). Differences in student information and communication technology literacy based on socio-economic status, ethnicity, and gender: evidence of a digital divide in Florida schools. Journal of Research on Technology, 45(4), 291-307

Dr. Andrew Tawfik | Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University

Tawfik, A.A., Reeves, T.D., & Stich, A. (2016). Intended and unintended consequences of educational technology on social inequality. TechTrends, 60(6): p. 598-605.
  Par t 1: Live Facebook Chat
  Monday | 3.27.17 | 8:00 PM EST |

Join us live for a guided Facebook chat session to share your perspectives and experiences related to equity and diversity in educational technology. We’ll also discuss the two focus articles for this event and kickstart conversation prior to the live webinar.

Par t 2: Webinar
  Wednesday | 3.29.17 | 3:00 PM EST |

During this free one-hour webinar, Drs. Albert Ritzhaupt and Andrew Tawfik will discuss their recent research and publications related to inequality in educational technology. To participate in this session, please register at

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