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Saturday, May 07, 2016

WMU researcher's study shows that virtual, blended schools continue to struggle | WMU News

"A Western Michigan University researcher has co-authored a study that reports full-time online schools and blended learning schools show outcomes that are consistently below traditional public schools." inform Mark E. Schwerin, News and Communication Specialist, Western Michigan University.


Photo: Charisse Gulosino
Photo: Dr. Gary Miron
Dr. Gary Miron, WMU professor of educational leadership, research and technology, and Dr. Charisse Gulosino, assistant professor of leadership and policy studies at the university of Memphis, are authors of this year's "Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review." The study was released by the National Education Policy Center, whose mission is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions that are based on sound evidence.
 

Study recommendations 
The authors recommend that, given the rapid growth of virtual and blended schools and their relatively poor performance, policymakers should slow or stop the growth in the number of schools and the size of their enrollments until the reasons for their performance have been addressed.

Among other recommendations, the researchers suggest increased oversight and regulations to require the private operators to devote more of the public resources they receive to instructional costs.
Read more...




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 schools and blended learning schools, also called hybrid schools. Little rigorous research has examined their inner workings, 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. This report includes student demographics, state-specific school performance ratings, and a comparison of virtual school outcomes with state norms, and provides suggestions for policymakers going forward. 


Miron, G. & Gulosino, C. (2016).
Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review
Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/virtual-schools-annual-2016

Executive Summary
This report provides a detailed overview and inventory of full-time virtual schools and blended learning schools that are also known as hybrid schools. Full-time virtual schools deliver all curriculum and instruction via the Internet and electronic communication, usually asynchro-nously  with  students  at  home  and  teachers  at  a  remote  location.  Blended  schools  combine traditional face-to-face instruction in classrooms with virtual instruction.
 

Although increasing numbers of parents and students are choosing virtual or blended schools, little is known about the inner workings of these schools. Evidence related to inputs and out-comes indicate that students in these schools differ from those in traditional public schools. The school performance measures for both virtual and blended schools also indicate that these schools are not as successful as traditional public schools.
 

Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that their enrollment growth has continued. Large virtual schools operated by for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) dominate this sector and are increasing their market share. While more districts are opening their own vir-tual schools, the schools are typically small, and with limited enrollment.
 

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

Miron, G. & Gulosino, C. (2016).
Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review
Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/virtual-schools-annual-2016 

Source: WMU News


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