Virtual School Meanderings

December 28, 2018

Improving Equity And Accountability: Report of the Funding Model Review Panel

Shortly before Christmas this report was released by the Government of British Columbia.  As folks may remember, the purpose of this process was “to review and provide recommendations to the way funding is allocated in the K-12 public education sector in British Columbia,” including the funding for distributed learning (i.e., distance learning).  You can find out more at:

One of the most important items in the report was:

“Recommendation 9

The Ministry should base funding allocations for school age education programming on the number of students, rather than on the number of courses being taken.  The Ministry should phase out the current course-based funding model by the 2020/2021 school year.

Recommendation 10

With the shift to a per-student-based funding model, the Ministry should develop a new policy and program delivery model for Distributed Learning to ensure consistent access to quality programming for all students in the province.”

In terms of the actual content, the main section related to distributed learning is for Recommendation 9, which can be found on page 26 of the report.  Read as a whole, the report seems to be suggesting that distributed learning should be funding at the same level as brick-and-mortar schooling.

You may recall, that was one of the recommendations that I made in the report on the funding of distributed learning in Canada that I authored, which can be found at:

https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/DL-Funding-Report.pdf

I would copy and paste more of the material into this message, but the Government of British Columbia has locked the document to prevent folks from copying and pasting.

October 30, 2018

State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada – Special Report: Funding and Resourcing of Distributed Learning in Canada

In addition to the annual reports, the State of the Nation research team also develop policy briefs.  These reports represent research on topics related to K-12 e-learning in Canada beyond the content contained in the annual reports, and are released as separate documents.  The second of these additional reports was released this past Friday.

The executive summary reads:

“In Fall 2017, the Government of British Columbia (2017) began a review of the model that it uses to fund K-12 education. In the press release announcing the members of the review panel, the Government (2018a) described the goal of the review was “to find a better way to provide equitable and predictable funding to boards of education” (¶ 5). As a part of this review, the government panel released a discussion paper that stated, among other things, that there was “an artificial division in the current model between ‘bricks-and-mortar’ and distributed learning, which should not exist” (Government of British Columbia, 2018d, p. 3).

The purpose of this brief is to examine the nature of distributed learning funding in British Columbia and how that compares to other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. This brief begins with an overview of the existing funding model in British Columbia with respect to distributed learning. This is followed by a description of how distributed learning is funded and resourced in other Canadian jurisdictions. The brief concludes with an exploration of the research literature related to funding distributed learning, most of which focuses on contexts in the United States.

This brief outlines how distributed learning funding models across Canada generally fall into one of three models. First, the government directly funds and/or resources distributed learning opportunities. Second, individual distributed learning programs charge a fee for students who enroll on a per course basis (often paid for by the school or school district). Third, the government provides direct funding for the distributed learning program through FTEs/CEUs. Interestingly, those Canadian jurisdictions that did fund distributed learning through FTEs/CEUs provided less funding for distributed learning enrollments compared to traditional brick-and-mortar enrollments.

The larger body of literature indicates that the American context generally follows the second for supplemental program and the third model for full-time programs. However, it is important to understand the role of private enterprise in public education with respect to distributed learning in the United States, and the impact this has on the funding of full-time distributed learning programs. There is also the issue of whether the government has the obligation to provide the same funding for public education regardless of the modality that education is delivered. As Ministries of Education across Canada review and revise funding models in their jurisdictions, issues of equity and access to effective learning options must be considered. Funding is a critical driver for educational practice. The research community would serve students and schools well to keep funding models for K-12 education in the forefront of their work.”

The report can be accessed at https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/DL-Funding-Report.pdf

October 20, 2018

Policy Brief – Transitioning to Student-Centered Learning: Evaluating Progress and Impact

From yet another group of neo-liberals.

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ExcelinEd

Evaluating Progress and Impact When Transitioning to Student-Centered Learning

All new education programs and initiatives are subject to scrutiny from policymakers, media and parents. However, the level of scrutiny state innovation and pilot programs face is often heightened since these innovative programs are, by definition, untested. Little empirical data is available for states to reference when developing a program or measuring the full impact on students and their outcomes.

Though challenging, it’s critical that states can evaluate, report and communicate the progress and impact of their innovation and pilot programs.

A thoughtful evaluation plan informs parents, teachers, the community, policymakers and others about what is working and what isn’t.

This fourth brief in the series Transitioning to Student-Centered Learning: Policy Solutions for States outlines practical steps states can take to develop thoughtful evaluation plans to support their long-term vision for innovative pilots and programs.

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September 17, 2018

Publication Alert 📚 Racial and Economic Diversity Trends in Virtual Charter Schools

See this new report from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

MVLRI-publications-update-banner.png

Our latest publication is now available!

Stay up to date with the latest research on virtual learning by following new publications. Below you will find the abstract to our most recent publication, as well as a link to the full, downloadable report. We hope you find it helpful.

New-Research-in-Online-&-Blended-Learning-Report-Cover.png

Racial and Economic Diversity Trends in Virtual Charter Schools
Bryan Mann, University of Alabama

Abstract: This study analyzes national and state enrollment data to examine racial and economic diversity in virtual charter schools (VCS). Previous research shows that VCSs enroll higher percentages of white students and lower percentages of economically disadvantaged students compared to national averages. The study presented here combines descriptive data with the Exposure Index strategy used in school segregation and diversity research. The purpose is to analyze the consistency of previous findings across and within states. The findings here reiterate that, in general, more white students attend VCSs, and the virtual charter sector has proportionally more economically advantaged students compared to other types of schools. However, despite enrollment distributions typically showing that VCSs are not diverse, patterns vary across states.

Download the Full Report

Stay connected with everything

MVLRI has to offer!

Visit our past publications, watch and set reminders for webinars and podcasts, or explore our blogs and our free guides to online learning. We hope that you find something that helps you support new learning models and share best practices for student success in online learning.

Explore Our Research and ResourcesPlease feel free to offer feedback on any MVLRI initiatives by emailing us at mvlri@michiganvirtual.org. Thank you!

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
3101 Technology Blvd. Suite G • Lansing, Michigan 48910

August 23, 2018

Publication Alert 📚 Learning Trajectories in Online Mathematics Courses

See this item from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

MVLRI-publications-update-banner.png

Our latest publication is now available!

Stay up to date with the latest research on virtual learning by following new publications. Below you will find the abstract to our most recent publication, as well as a link to the full, downloadable report. We hope you find it helpful.

Learning-Trajectories-in-Online-Math-Course.png

Learning Trajectories
in Online Mathematics Courses
Jemma Bae Kwon, Michigan Virtual

Abstract: Present research has devoted attention to a long-standing problem: how to better serve students who take K-12 online mathematics courses by investigating learner subgroups based on their semester-long learning trajectories. Mixture growth modeling was used to examine month-by-month scores students earned by completing assignments. The best-fitting model suggested four distinct subgroups representing (1) nearly linear growth, (2) exponential growth, (3) hardly any growth, (4) and early rapid growth. Follow-up analyses demonstrated that two different types of successful trajectories were more likely associated with advanced level courses, such as AP or Calculus courses, and foundation courses, such as Algebra and Geometry, were with the unpromising trajectory. Given those results, implications for practitioners and researchers were discussed from the perspective of self-regulated online learning and evidence-based mathematics instructional practices.

Download the Full Report

Stay connected with everything

MVLRI has to offer!

Visit our past publications, watch and set reminders for webinars and podcasts, or explore our blogs and our free guides to online learning. We hope that you find something that helps you support new learning models and share best practices for student success in online learning.

Explore Our Research and ResourcesPlease feel free to offer feedback on any MVLRI initiatives by emailing us at mvlri@michiganvirtual.org. Thank you!

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
3101 Technology Blvd. Suite G • Lansing, Michigan 48910

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