Tuesday, August 2, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Cyber Schools Slammed by Charters (Again)

CURMUDGUCATION: Cyber Schools Slammed by Charters (Again):

Cyber Schools Slammed by Charters (Again)

The Thomas Fordham Foundation releases a report today looking at cyber charters in Ohio, and the cover of the report signals pretty clearly where we're headed.

Ouchies! Stock Photo Lad is clearly not prepared to sing the joyous praises of his virtual school, and that bored and contemptuous face pretty much sets the tone for the report (presumably he is a cyber charter student, and not someone who has just tried to read the report).

We should note right up front that Fordham has skin in this game; they have several bricks-and-mortar charters of their own in Ohio. And the bricks-and-mortar wing of the charter school industryhas been getting pretty rough with their cyber-siblings lately. So, let's see how they made out this time.

The report strikes a pair of notes over and over again-- e-learning can be awesome, but cyber schools, not so much. Right off the bat, in the foreward, we get this:

To be certain, the Internet has opened a new frontier of possibilities for America’s K–12 students. Much less sure, however, is whether these new opportunities are actually improving achievement, especially for the types of students who enroll in virtual schools.
So what did Dr. Ahn find? We can cut to the chase, because although the report is fifty-five pages long, the actual meat is pretty short and sweet.

Dr. Ahn used Ohio education department data from 2009-2013 covering K-12 students. By breaking down the data, the following findings emerged.

* Cyber-schools are largely centered around the urban areas, where (the report notes) there are plenty of perfectly good bricks-and-mortar charters. That's an interesting data point; here in PA, cybers take advantage of areas where there is little brick-and-mortar competition, as well as 
CURMUDGUCATION: Cyber Schools Slammed by Charters (Again):



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