Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Study says Ohio’s virtual charters can’t replace the traditional school experience

Study says Ohio’s virtual charters can’t replace the traditional school experience:

Study says Ohio’s virtual charters can’t replace the traditional school experience

Adding to the stack of research about problems with online-only schools



Virtual charter schools can give students who are falling behind in traditional schools a chance to find success in an alternative learning environment. But can virtual charter schools fully replace the traditional face-to-face school experience?

New York University professor June Ahn, the author of a new studyexamining the state of Ohio’s virtual charter schools published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, doesn’t think the current virtual school model can do that. In fact, he said that thinking of virtual charter schools as complete alternatives to traditional schooling might even be contributing to students’ poor academic performance.
“I think packaging this as a school might be setting us up for failure,” Ahn said, referring to virtual charter schools. “School is a lot more than just putting content up online.”
In Ohio, students who want to take even just one online course—whether it’s to make up for a course they failed or to take an advanced course in a subject they excel in—must opt out of their local school entirely and take all of their courses online. They do not have the option to combine elements of face-to-face schooling with online studies in a virtual charter school. As a result, some students may not be getting the social and emotional support they need to be successful in virtual charter school programs, the study said.
According to Ahn, students attending virtual (online-only) charter schools, especially those who enrolled because they were falling behind, are missing out on what he called “the rich social ecosystem” of relationships with peers and teachers that could support and motivate their learning.
The study took a close look at the demographics of students enrolled in Ohio’s virtual charter schools. It found that the majority of students who attend virtual charter schools are low-achieving; they Study says Ohio’s virtual charters can’t replace the traditional school experience:

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