Virtual School Meanderings

May 12, 2016

E-Learn 2016 (DC): Full Paper: Journal Publication Submisions

Another item from Tuesday’s inbox…

e-elearn 2016 DC logo
Call for “Full Paper:
Journal Publication” 
Due: June 15
Submissions accepted as Full Paper – Journal Publication category will be published in an AACE Journal and Conference Proceedings, available at LearnTechLib.org.
LearnTechLib
 
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AACE, info@aace.org, P.O. Box 719, Waynesville, NC 28786

April 25, 2016

Your Paper Is Published in the SITE 2016 Proceedings!

Note these K-12 online learning related items in the proceedings – and I suspect if you searched for other sessions from , you might find other items that have been deposited.

LearnTechLib - The Learning & Technology Library
Formerly EdITLib—Education & Information Technology Library

Dear Michael Barbour,

Congratulations, your paper has been published in the SITE 2016 Proceedings and will be internationally distributed viaLearnTechLib–The Learning and Technology Library.

Help distribute your paper by sharing with colleagues. All shared papers are freely accessible.


Cases of Quality: Case Studies of the Approval and Evaluation of K-12 Online and Blended Providers [172322]

Available here: https://www.learntechlib.org/p/172322/

Your Papers: http://LearnTechLib.org/profile/papers/

Your Author Profile: http://LearnTechLib.org/profile/

All papers in the SITE 2016 Proceedings are accessible to conference registrants through LearnTechLib.


Use the entire Library for your research, classroom readings, etc. Access to 110,000+ peer reviewed papers from 800+ journals and 2,000+ conferences.

Individual and library subscriptions are available at a reasonable rates.

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Best regards,
The LearnTechLib Team

April 22, 2016

4th Annual Virtual Schools Report

From Thursday’s inbox…

April 20, 2016

Contact:
Gary Miron, (269) 387-3883, gary.miron@wmich.edu
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

4th Annual Virtual Schools Report

Online schools continue to grow, struggle

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Apr. 20, 2016) — The Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review report is the fourth in an annual series of research briefs on the fast-growing U.S. virtual school sector. This year’s report provides a comprehensive directory of the nation’s full-time virtual and blended learning providers.

The report finds little research has examined the inner workings of these schools. Also, the report finds that students attending these schools differ from those in traditional public schools, and the school outcomes are consistently below traditional public schools.

Gary Miron, professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, and Charisse Gulosino, assistant professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Memphis are the authors of this year’s report. Alex Molnar, a research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, provides a foreword to the report.

This report provides a detailed census of full-time virtual and blended schools, including student demographics, state-specific school performance ratings, and a comparison of virtual school outcomes with state norms.

Based on the findings, the authors make several recommendations, including:

  • Policymakers should slow or stop the growth in the number of virtual and blended schools until their relatively poor performance have been identified and addressed;
  • States should seek to understand why virtual and blended schools perform weakly, and how their performance can be improved;
  • Virtual and blended schools should be held to the same standards as other publicly funded schools;
  • Policymakers should require virtual schools devote more resources to instruction;
  • State agencies should ensure that virtual and blended schools fully report data related to the population of students they serve and the teachers they employ;
  • State and federal policymakers should promote efforts to design new outcome measures, which capture the unique characteristics of virtual and blended schools;
  • More research should be supported to understand policy options for funding and accountability mechanisms, and to increase our understanding of the inner workings of virtual and blended schools.

Find the report on the web:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) produced the report with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The report can also be found on the NEPC website:
http://nepc.colorado.edu

– ### –

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develp reasearch-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website athttp://www.greatlakescenter.org/

April 21, 2016

News from the NEPC: Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and to Grow

From yesterday’s inbox…

Increasing numbers opting for online and blended learning schools despite evidence of poor performance
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Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and to Grow

Key Takeaway: Increasing numbers opting for online and blended learning schools despite evidence of poor performance
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BOULDER, CO (April 20, 2016) – The fourth edition of the National Education Policy Center’s annual report on online and blended learning schools provides a detailed overview and inventory of full-time virtual and blended learning schools, also called hybrid schools. Little rigorous research has examined the inner workings of these schools, but evidence indicates that students differ from those in traditional public schools, and that school outcomes are consistently below traditional public schools. Nevertheless, enrollment growth has continued, assisted by vigorous advertising campaigns, corporate lobbying, and favorable legislation.

Gary Miron, professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, and Charisse Gulosino, assistant professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Memphis, are the authors of this year’s Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review. This report provides a detailed census of full-time virtual and blended schools, including student demographics, state-specific school performance ratings, and a comparison of virtual school outcomes with state norms.

The scope of this study covers charter and district-operated virtual schools and blended learning schools. Miron notes that “large private education management organizations dominate the full-time virtual sector and they are increasing their market share in the blended school sector.” Districts are opening their own virtual and blended learning schools, although these are typically smaller and with limited enrollment relative to charter-operated virtual and blended schools.

“Measures of school performance consistently show virtual school outcomes that lag significantly behind those of traditional brick-and-mortar schools,” said Gulosino. “While this finding did not surprise us, given past research with similar findings, we were surprised to find that blended schools tended to score similar or lower on performance measures than virtual schools.”

The authors conclude that, given the rapid growth of virtual and blended schools and their relatively poor outcomes on widely used accountability measures, several recommendations should be followed:

  • Policymakers should slow or stop the growth in the number of virtual schools and blended schools and the size of their enrollments until the reasons for their relatively poor performance have been identified and addressed. States should place their first priority on understanding why virtual schools and blended schools perform weakly under a college- and career-ready accountability system and how their performance can be improved before undertaking any measures to expand these relatively new models of schooling.
  • Oversight authorities should hold virtual schools and blended schools to the same standards as other publicly funded schools, if they fail to improve performance.
  • Policymakers should require virtual schools and blended schools to devote more resources to instruction, particularly by specifying a maximum ratio of students to teachers.
  • State agencies should ensure that virtual schools and blended schools fully report data related to the population of students they serve and the teachers they employ.
  • State and federal policymakers should promote efforts to design new outcome measures appropriate to the unique characteristics of full-time virtual schools and blended schools. Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) represents an opportunity for those states with a growing virtual and blended school sector to improve upon their accountability systems for reporting data on school performance measures.
  • Policymakers and other stakeholders should support more research to identify which policy options—especially those impacting funding and accountability mechanisms—are most likely to promote successful virtual schools and blended schools. More research is also needed to increase understanding of the inner workings of virtual and blended schools, including such factors as the curriculum and the nature of student-teacher interactions. Such research should help identify and remedy features that are negatively affecting student learning.

Find Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review, by Gary Miron and Charisse Gulosino, on the web at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/virtual-schools-annual-2016

This research brief was made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

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: http://nepc.colorado.edu


Copyright © 2016 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

April 19, 2016

CRPE Online Charter School Report Could Be Useful To Policymakers, Review Finds

From yesterday’s inbox…

April 18, 2016

Contact:
Gary Miron, (269) 599-7965, gary.miron@wmich.edu
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

CRPE online charter school report could be useful to policymakers, review finds

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Apr. 18, 2016) — A study from the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), an organization that often advocates for charter schools, attempted to provide an in-depth analysis of policy features across the states that allow for online charter schools. The report concluded that online charter schools should use a separate regulatory framework than brick-and-mortar charter schools. An academic review of the report finds that it potentially offers a solid contribution for policymaking.

Gary Miron, Western Michigan University, reviewed the report,The Policy Framework for Online Charter Schools, for the Think Twice think tank review project. Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), is funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

In his review of the report, Miron describes it as a well-organized description of policy features, and that the policy recommendations generally, but not always, follow well from the study’s evidence.

Miron notes that the report appears to be one of three sponsored by the Walton Foundation. He says, “the three reports appear to be jointly coordinated and planned, although they were independently prepared and reported.” Miron adds, “Together, they [the three reports] provide a comprehensive examination of online charter schools.”

Despite this, he is critical of one recommendation from the report: that online schools should have more flexibility in limiting which students gain access. Instead, he recommends that policymakers ensure online schools spend more on instruction, in order to provide students with more support from qualified educators.

He concludes, “Overall, the detailed analyses of policy environments and the summary of problems in the online charter school sector included in this report should be useful to policymakers who are willing and able to pursue more restrictive oversight and increase accountability for online charter schools.”

Find the review on the GLC website:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find The Policy Framework for Online Charter Schools on the web:
http://www.crpe.org/publications/policy-framework-online-charter-schools

The review can also be found on the NEPC website:
http://nepc.colorado.edu

– ### –

Friend on Facebook

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develp reasearch-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website athttp://www.greatlakescenter.org/

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