Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Virtual charter schools lag far behind

The number of students in virtual schools run by educational management organizations rose sharply last year, but the students in those schools are lagging far behind their peers in in traditional public schools. This according to a new study by the National Education Policy Center.  

About 27 percent of these schools achieved “adequate yearly progress,” the key federal standard set forth under the No Child Left Behind act to measure academic progress. By comparison, nearly 52 percent of all privately managed brick-and-mortar schools reached that goal, a figure comparable to all public schools nationally.

“There’s a pretty large gap between virtual and brick-and-mortar,” said Gary Miron, a professor of evaluation, measurement and research at Western Michigan University and a co-author of the study.
“E.M.O.’s” — educational management organizations, a term coined by Wall Street in the 1990s — now operate 35 percent of all charter schools, enrolling 42 percent of all charter school students, according to the report. “Charter schools are publicly funded and they are serving public school students,” Dr. Miron noted. “But they are increasingly privately owned and privately governed.” -- New York Times
Nonprofit E.M.O.’s have a better track record of academic success than for-profits, and smaller E.M.O.’s in general perform better than larger ones, at least defined by the federal standard of adequate yearly progress — a metric Dr. Miron called “very crude.”

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