Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Headline...."On-line Schools Slammed"

Here's the article.

This not the kind of headline you will find in an ed tech journal. While this certainly doesn't represent all on-line schools in all states, here is an excerpt from the article about the major issues facing Colorado on-line schools.

This may be a cautionary tale or an aberration. You tell me.

Jim :-)

Overall online education issues


An analysis of student data over three years found online students perform worse on state exams than their peers across Colorado, and the performance gaps are larger in middle and high school. On average, the audit found, online students' performance on state exams actually declines over time.


Five of the 12 online schools audited did not appear to comply with either state licensing requirements or with federal rules mandating teachers have completed college courses in their subjects. Hope, for example, had four licensed teachers for 1,500 students.


Colorado Department of Education officials did not follow their own monitoring rules. Despite recurring problems with online programs in four of seven school districts reviewed in the audit, state officials did not place them on academic probation.

Online schools typically said their student achievement was poor because their kids are "at risk," but there is no standard definition for that term. Some schools said their students were at risk if they had jobs or participated in rodeo programs."

1 comment:

Wesley Fryer said...

I am glad the state of Colorado is exercising oversight like this. It sounds like what was going on with the Hope Academy needs to be fixed. We'll need to see actual data and results to determine if the conclusions can be reasonably generalized to online learning overall, or just the particular manifestations of online learning that were examined in the audit. I want to see greater emphasis on the idea of "blended learning" in education, rather than advocacy for pure online learning. Like many things, this debate seems to be offered as a black and white, either/or proposition. It makes the most sense to look at what is more effective in online settings versus face to face settings, and blend the two to make a more effective educational environment. I do think the issues with public funding of religious schools is a problem too, however, and it's interesting (as well as sad) to read that in some cases this goal is being advanced under the guise of online learning.