Virtual Charter Schools Perform Worse Than District Schools, Report Says

Source: Arianna Prothero, Charters & Choice, April 21, 2016

Charter schools and for-profit management companies make up the majority of the virtual schooling sector, according to a new report from the National Education Policy Center. And despite performing worse academically than traditional brick-and-mortar schools, the enrollment in virtual schools continues to grow. The NEPC’s fourth annual report profiles in detail the makeup of the virtual school sector, which has grown to include students across district schools, charter schools, and even home schools. Although just under half of full-time virtual schools are charters, they account for over 80 percent of virtual school enrollment nationally. …

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Stanford study shows that online charter school students are lagging
Source: Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post, October 27, 2015

Students in the nation’s virtual K-12 charter schools — who take all of their classes via computer from home — learn significantly less on average than students at traditional public schools, a new study has found. The online charter students lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year, the study found. In other words, when it comes to math, it’s as if the students did not attend school at all. … The study looked at students attending full-time, publicly funded virtual schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia and annual academic performance between 2008 and 2013. It excluded students who take one or two online courses but spend the bulk of their time in a “brick and mortar school” and those who attend blended learning schools, which offer a mix of traditional and online instruction.