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Friday, November 18, 2005

Virtual Schooling in the News

From my Google News Alert service for this week...

Virtual Academy school plan stalls
Chicago Sun-Times - United States

Are virtual school students who receive lessons via computer spending at least 300 minutes a day at their studies? That's the question that tripped up Chicago Public School officials, who balked Wednesday at approving plans for a new Chicago Virtual Academy until they are sure they will receive state funds for the school's students.

Tips for finding a virtual school
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Enrollment has grown in Arizona's virtual schools every year since the state began allowing them in 1998. The state allows 14 virtual schools in Arizona with half run by school districts and half by charter schools. Studies have shown virtual schools do a good job educating children, although more research is needed. Arizona's schools generally report good results. Virtual schools work especially well for parents seeking a flexible schedule for their children.

Volunteer panel will do audit
Augusta Chronicle (subscription required) - Augusta, GA, USA

A committee of volunteers will take the reins of a technology audit of the Columbia County school system. Originally intended to be conducted by a paid outside agency, the volunteer committee will perform the service for free. "We had bids from $12,000 to $250,000," said Wayne Bridges, a school board member. "It could save a substantial amount of money based on what we get out of it."

More 'attend' virtual schools
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA

This year, an unprecedented number of Arizona K-12 students will take their classes online through virtual schools. It's part of a distance-learning tide that has rolled through higher education and corporate America and is spreading more rapidly into high schools and below.Statewide, one in 100 students, or 10,816, took at least one class through virtual schools last year, with more enrolling this year, state officials said. Hundreds attend all of their classes online.

More Arizona students signing up for online classes
KVOA.com - Tucson, AZ, USA

According to state officials, one in 10 students, or 10,816, took at least one class through virtual schools last year, with even more enrolling this year. It's part of a distance-learning surge that is spreading rapidly into high schools and below, modeled after higher education and corporate America.

CYBERSCHOOLS FIND A HOME
Colorado Springs Gazette - Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Alex Shute is no riddle, but puzzle over this: He attends a school in Branson, a tiny town near the New Mexico state line, but the 17-year-old Colorado Springs boy has never set foot in Branson. He’s in a classroom of one, but he has plenty of company. His education costs thousands of dollars, but his parents don’t pay a dime. He’s schooled at home, but not home-schooled.

Virtual public school invaluable as resource, kids and parents say
The Desert Sun - Palm Springs, CA, USA

For the Schmidt family, the school day typically starts around 7 a.m. That's when Emily Schmidt wakes her three young children for breakfast. But she only loads two of them up in the truck for school. After she drops Eli, 9, and Hannah, 8, off at Bubbling Wells Elementary just around the corner, she heads to her sunny kitchen in her home near Desert Hot Springs. Sitting at the home computer in one corner of the kitchen is her 11-year-old son, Clint, waiting to begin his own school day.

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