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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Who Benefits From Virtual Schooling?

The crowd over at Allied Online High School Blog ask the question, Who Benefits from Online High School? And it is a good question (even though they are asking it about their specific cyber school). I have often asked the questions Why Do People Take Virtual School Courses or Who Are We Trying To Serve? , but this is a slightly different take on the issue and a responsible one to consider.

So, who does benefit from virtual schooling?

One that I have seen in the blogsphere a lot lately looks at the issue of summer schooling:

Another one that I came across, which I guess also didn't surprise me was Online classes click with athletes - BAO ONG, Pioneer Press from Online Learning Update.

Darren, over at Teaching and Developing Online posted an interesting series on the topic from his own cyber school, which isn't a cyber school in American terms (i.e., it is not a charter school, it is a public school).

So, what do you think? Who benefits from virtual schooling and why?

Tags: , , ,

30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"not a charter school, it's a public school"...???
Charter schools are public schools--in every situation, no matter who runs it.

~Annette

10:18 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

Not by definition. With a public school there is separate of church and state (among numerous others regulations). Charter schools do notnecssarily have to live by these guidelines (many of whih are federally imposed) and are only regulated by the specific legislation that created them in that state.

Charter schools are as close to public schools as home schoolers are to public school students who take all of their courses online.

MKB

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fast typing! :)

If there isn't a separation of church and state in a charter school the charter school is in violation. They can lose they charter and funding. In California, parents cannot take funding and purchase religious curriculum with it. They have to buy it themselves. In Alaska, based on a certain law about separation of church and state, even if parents buy the materials, they cannot (not sure this is always enforced?) be used to obtain credit in home-based charter schools and other home-based public school programs.

If there are charter schools who are allowing some leeway here, it won't last. There was recently a charter school where prayer took place by a teacher or administrator, it made the news. All it will take is people complaining and because of public funding, there won't be any difference from other public schools. The courts have decided charter schools are public schools. Maybe the ACLU and the "People for the American Way" haven't heard about the charter schools you have heard about?

In Florida, a charter school needed a home. A church said, we'll rent you space. The charter school was all set to do this. The problem came up when the approving authority said all religious symbols need to be covered or removed during school hours. The church said no way. The symbols stay as they are. The charter school had to dissolve because it didn't have a place.
~Annette

10:37 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

This is why I said "Charter schools do not necssarily have to live by these guidelines." It is a state by state thing and how the legislation in that individual state has created the charter.

I don't deny that charter schools receive public funds, but they are not public schools.

MKB

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it is only your *opinion* that charter schools are not public schools. Fact is they are public schools. And there are many school districts with their own charter school program who would differ with that opinion. Charter schools are just not *traditional* public schools.

~Annette
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/oh/200306060.asp?PrinterFriendly=True


http://www.cps.k12.il.us/schools/Charter/charter.html
http://www.dssc.org/frc/fed/ocr_charter.htm
http://www.atlanticlegal.org/njcharter.html

8:07 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

If charter schools were public schools then they wouldn't need separate legislation to operate or even exist. They also wouldn't operate under different guidelines.

Using your definition home school students are also public school students because homeschooling is allowed and governed by public legislation.

MKB

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
Charter schools are a different *kind* of *public school*.
**Legally** charter schools are *public* schools. It is that simple. It makes no difference how you and I feel or think about that. Where have the courts come down on this issue? Answer: Charter schools *are* public schools.

Homeschools are not public schools. Legally we are under a different set of regulations than public schools.
Public schools including charter schools are under NCLB. Homeschools are exempt from NCLB because NCLB is for *public* education. If someone is appropriating the term homeschool but are legally required to be under NCLB, then the term homeschool is being misappropriated.
What category do you say charter schools are in? Private schools? Charter schools are public schools managed by either private entities or public entities. They may not be held to all the same regulations, as there is some flexiblity for charter schools. But there is NCLB, a standard that is required for all charter schools.

~Annette

11:59 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

You are starting to split hairs here... For example you ask, "Where have the courts come down on this issue? Answer: Charter schools *are* public schools." This has been on a state-by-state basis and only in state where they have been challenged, which makes up a small number of the states that have operating charter schools. I should also note that the basis of those few rulings have been decided almost solely upon the issue of funding. The courts have said charter schools are public simply because they have been funded with public dollars - and for the most part that is their only logic. The problem with using this legal definition is that the courts are reluctant to create a fourth class of K-12 education (the first three legal classes being public, private, and home). Legislatures haven't had that problem, which is why with the exception of where their funding comes from, there are few other similarities between public schools and charter schools that are appliable to all charter schools.

You also said, "Homeschools are not public schools. Legally we are under a different set of regulations than public schools." You could just as easily substitute charter schools for the word homeschools and your statement would still be entirely correct.

You also state that "Public schools including charter schools are under NCLB." This is not true in all states, while other states have specifically had to fight to have charters included in NCLB. If they were public schools, then yes all charters would be subject to NCLB. All are not.

You ask me, "What category do you say charter schools are in? Private schools?" No, I do not think that they are private schools. But I do not think that they are public schools either.

Charter schools are a separate classification of schools that have developed here in the United States that are governed by their own set of rules and regulations as determined by state legislation.

MKB

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following your logic Independent Study in California would not be considered public schooling while it actually is.

~Annette

12:44 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

I'll be honest and say that I don't know anything about independent study in California.

I do know that while charter schools receive public funds, they are governed different than public schools - both at the state and the federal levels.

The distinction may be a fine one, but it is the same as the distinction between your definition of homeschooled students and students who do not attend school but take all of their curriculum at home through a cyber or virtual school. In both instances the parents do not pay for their child to be educated (above and beyond the normal local taxes). In both instances the students are learning from home under the direct supervision of a parent.

However, as you've taught me the legislation that governs these two groups of students is very different, in the same way that the legislation that governs public schools and charter schools is very different.

MKB

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
You may have a point that a fourth category needs to be invented. The fourth category would need to be able to address the type of situation in which a charter school is a blend of private and public.

In the situation of vouchers, this would also be a blend between private and public. I think, based on listening to the words coming from private school administrators, parents of attendees, pro-voucher people, and anti-voucher people that in the end the existing blend situation will change to the extent that the private school will be hard to distinguish from the public school.

"He who pays the piper calls the tune"
http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/209_OP08.pdf

As you look for trends in virtual schooling, I believe that this is the trend in those blended situations. I have seen public schools that start their own charter school program as an off-shoot of their school to stem the exodus of students to other charter schools. They may use K12Inc., but if they find they can save money they often dump K12Inc. and employ their own curriculum that is better aligned with their ps curriculum. I found a quote last week regarding a charter school situation run by a school district where the administrator stated that the virtual charter school was identical in curriculum to their public school. The lines start looking the same after awhile.

~Annette

4:34 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

It is my argument that the actions of state legislatures have already created a fourth category. If you look at states where both homeschooling and charter schooling is permitted, there is legislation governing public schools (plus the federal requirements), there is separate legislation governing private schools, there is separate legislation governing homeschooling, and there is separate legislation governing charter schooling.

MKB

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There may be seperate legislation governing different options. BUT there are two categories of education we are talking about here--Public and Private education. Homeschooling is private education. Often a state will allow homeschoolers to form private schools or file a letter that they have a private school in their home either with their family or one other family. This isn't a big leap for legislators to allow such a thing as the two options are from the same category. Private education is not subject to NCLB nor are they subject to state standards or the testing that takes place to evaluate whether those state standards were achieved by the student. Legislators get the difference between public education and private education. The dividing line for them is the funds. If public funds go out then there is some type of public accountability (and usually a welcomed trade-off by all involved). No funds, no state standards and no keeping NCLB equals *private education*.
~Annette

7:43 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

The problem with using NCLB as your measure of the classification of education is that NCLB is a federal piece of legislation, while education is not within the jurisdiction of the federal government. The other problem is that even if NCLB did make sense as a measure, it would mean that in some states charter schools would be considered private because they aren't tied to NCLB and in other states the would be considered public because they do fall under NCLB regulations.

MKB

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not just using NCLB, state learning standards which private education is not tied to.

Education isn't supposed to be in the jurisdiction of the federal government, but it is increasingly becoming federalized. In my own state, the govt. decided to switch to the SAT as the state test instead of the Maine's own MEA. The federal education dept. said that wasn't sufficient. The consequence was the state govt. would miss out on federal money that they had already planned for. I *think* that the decision was just reversed though. The states are often held over a barrel by the federal dept of education. Comply or lose federal funding. Education is controlled by the states to the extent they are able to reject federal funding and legislation like NCLB. That's not working too well, states tend to comply rather than lose funding.

Give me some evidence there are charter schools (even one) currently that aren't required to be under NCLB or at least part of it. Every public school student is under NCLB, that applies to charter school students as well.
~Annette

7:03 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

The state that immediately comes to mind is Ohio, where there was a fight to include charter schools in NCLB (this was about a year and a half ago, maybe two). Once they were finally included, particularly in the testing regime, many of these charters closed down. However, it wasn't simply a given that charter schools in that state would have to subject themselves to the NCLB testing.

I should note as well, that this is the second entry in a row that I have asked a specific question about virual schooling that the entire discussion has been about home and/or charter schooling.

MKB

MKB

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it relatest to the role of the federal govt. and virtual schools: http://tinyurl.com/rrust

In OH, the state govt. (last year) wanted charter schools to have testing in *addition* to the state testing required by NCLB. This decision seems to have been reversed. But for awhile it was on the books, that charter (community schools) would have testing requirements higher than regular public schools.

I would disagree that many charters were closed over NCLB. What happens is state govt's. clamp down on fraudulent charter school administrators. Accountability stops the fraud and waste. Charter schools, at least in general, want to be under NCLB. The numbers of charter schools in OH over the past few years do not support that idea that NCLB forced them out. If they closed over NCLB, it was no doubt over charges of mishandling of funds and it coming to light with greater accountability. The OH directory of charter schools is and has been online for awhile. I and others on NCSW keep track of the number of charter schools in a given state.

I can refrain from commenting here further if you would like. I believe in your original post you erred in making a distinction that cyber charters are not public schools. Virtual and cyber charters are public schools. If there is confusion about the mixing of public school and home-based programs with sometimes private corporations, it is usually the general public (NOT dept. of educations, legislatures, the courts, charter school associations or Teachers' Unions) who see the blending and think charter schools must be less than public schooling. They would be wrong. Public money, state standards with testing, and NCLB makes it public schooling. In the case of vouchers, private schools that except public money will find themselves not being able to distinguish themselves from public schools. Public money as it relates to schools with the necessary accountability measures eradicates autonomy of the private sector. I also think that cyber charters are so closely resembled and connected to virtual schooling that virtual schooling actually benefits by the introduction of cyber charters (initially?) into a state. IMO, cyber charters connected to private corporations will eventually be the losers where as other cyber charters and virtual schooling will be the winners.

Those who benefit from cyber or virtual schools are public school students who do not mind a public school mentality. Virtual schooling allows for more independence for the student than regular public schooling, but much less independence than homeschooling. I would have jumped at virtual schooling as a high school student -even if it took place at a public school--if it was presented to me.
I think virtual schooling is a positive thing for public schooling.
~Annette

8:04 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

Okay, let me try to take this in order as they appear in your comment.

1) As it relatest to the role of the federal govt. and virtual schools: http://tinyurl.com/rrust

I have to disagree here. The biggest role that the federal government has played and continues to play in virtual schooling is by funding their start-ups and in some cases continued costs through various programs in the Department of Education - but that's a different issue altogether.

2) In OH, the state govt. (last year) wanted charter schools to have testing in *addition* to the state testing required by NCLB.

I was not referring to last year, but prior to that. This particular issue was not what I was referring to either. I recall, largely because it was pointed out to me by a NCREL researcher who is well versed in virtual schooling and much more familiar with the school choice issue in the United States than I, that in Ohio charter schools were not initially subject to testing under NCLB and when they were forced to, many of them - particularly the cyber charters -were closed down.

3) I would disagree that many charters were closed over NCLB.

This was the case in Ohio. The problem, as it was described to me, was that because of the way the state legislation was written the charter schools were not initially subject to NCLB testing requirements and when they were finally forced to many of them failed to meet the necessary requirements and had their charter revoked. This was particularly true of the cyber charters.

Having said that, there are 36 or 38 states that allow for charter schools and I am only talking about schools in one of those states (as it is the only one that I have been informed about).

4) I can refrain from commenting here further if you would like.

It is not a matter of not commenting. But if you look at three of the last four entries (excluding the virtual schooling in the news), I have asked the following questions:

- What are your thoughts about how a typical start-up of a virtual school?
- What are your thoughts about whether or not virtual schooling is or can be appropriate for younger students?
- What are the characteristics of a successful virtual school learner?
- Who benefits from virtual schooling and why?

Each time you have chose not to comment about any of these questions, but engage in a discussion about home and/or charter schooling.

I'm just saying it would be nice if you actually addressed the issue once in a while, particularly given that at least once a month I post an entry on charter and/or homeschooling which gives you an opportunity to engage in that kind of discussion anyway.

5) I believe in your original post you erred in making a distinction that cyber charters are not public schools.

I said "Darren, over at Teaching and Developing Online posted an interesting series on the topic from his own cyber school, which isn't a cyber school in American terms (i.e., it is not a charter school, it is a public school)."

And your original question (i.e., "not a charter school, it's a public school"...???) was a valid one. However, I explained my understanding of the terms and how I was using them - at least as a mean to inform my American readers that cyber schools in Canada are not the same thing as cyber schools in the United States (largely because most of our public education systems are Christian public education systems and we don't have the same issues of separation of church and state as you have south of the 49th). Was thee really a need for seven more messages about the definition of charter schooling to an entry entitled "Who Benefits From Virtual Schooling?"

6) If there is confusion about the mixing... public schooling.

I realize that as a supporter of an alternative form of K-12 education that you feel the need to address each and every person or instance that may raise a point even remotely close to your own area of interest. I understand that, I do. As someone who has conducted almost a dozen research projects on virtual schooling over the past five years, as someone who has taught with four different virtual school, as someone who has designed courses for six different virual schools, my interest isn't in providing choice or providing an alternative to public schooling. My interest is in providing opportunity to rural school students who are shafted, compared to their urban counterparts when it comes to accessing the mandated curriculum because provinces and state refuse to fund rural schools at a level that urban schools are funded.

I originally started this blog because virtual schools (not cyber schools, but virtual schools) were originally created to address this urban-rural disparity. Each onethat applied for funding at the state or federal level put this goal front and center. The problem is that it has been my experience that in the United States (and not so much in Canada) that only the best and the brightest can access these opportunities.

So questions such as: What are your thoughts about whether or not virtual schooling is or can be appropriate for younger students? What are the characteristics of a successful virtual school learner? Who benefits from virtual schooling and why? are of interest to me. The exact definition of homeschooling and which states have what regulations for charter and cyber charter schools, wich useful pieces of knowledge to have I'm sure, are not really of interest to me in the larger scheme of things - personally, professionally, or even from a research standpoint.

Now, if you have some thoughts about:

- How a typical start-up of a virtual school?
- Whether or not virtual schooling is or can be appropriate for younger students?
- What are the characteristics of a successful virtual school learner?
- Who benefits from virtual schooling and why?

I'd welcome them... Otherwise, I'm going to have to start to filter the comments on this blog, as I have little interest in and this is really not the place for the types of discussion that we've been having.

MKB

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The role of the federal government has also been to push the states to begin their own virtual programs under threat of penalties for not accommodating transfers:

**article snip found in my previous comment **
Federal education officials now are pushing districts across the nation -- including Jefferson County -- to accommodate all such requests. (transfer requests)
**snip**
A recent federal review also found that the district ***must do*** a better job of accommodating No Child Left Behind transfers....

This info next about another Kentucky virtual school relates to the federal govt.'s push (might I add that ps's do push-outs in response to NCLB?) :
http://www.newsdemocratleader.com/articles/2006/07/31/news/news01.txt

About OH, you have proven my point. In the situation where there exists inequalities between regular public schools and charter schools as it relates to accountability, it will get remedied eventually. As it is remedied, there will be little distinction between the differing *public school options*. The reference about the closing of cyber charters from the researcher, I'm going to investigate for NCSW. Currently, my two year collection of data does not reflect very many cyber charters closing in OH over NCLB requirements. Often in OH, the term charter itself is not reserved for what the most of the country calls charter schools. Charter is reserved for private schools that are *chartered*--no relationship to public cyber charters. Hopefully, we are not talking about privately funded and run cyber charters in OH.

Mike, I will say that you have been particularly patient and gracious with my commenting. Thank you. I am here to understand your viewpoint, not just comment on my pet interest.

Being in rural Maine, I understand the issue of how rural schools are under-funded compared to city schools. I think participation here in VHS currently is a good thing. I have been trying to determine where you are coming from in relationship to virtual schooling. I get the rural thing, but you show interest (even your news links) to the bigger picture of virtual and cyber charters. I also find that I have to look at the bigger more encompassing picture relative to homeschooling, virtual, cyber, and charter schooling. However, there are aspects that I try to cross off my list that it isn't within my scope or interest. On this blog, I am not currently able to make a distinction as you are able to do when it comes to certain virtual programs. I'm trying to hear you and find characteristics that I can identify that help me to see what you are interested in. For example, WA does not have a charter school law. Steilacoom district has a district-run K12Inc program. For all purposes, I see it as cyber charter when in fact, it is actually an alternative program. Now, Insight is in WA and in one article it appeared similar to VHS. However, it is set up so that high school students never have to attend a brick and mortar high school. Is there a line between distance learning and home-based public-funded virtual or cyber programs? It begins to look awfully blurry for me and thus my level of commenting to try to understand what you are advocating for.

In my opinion the role of the federal govt. is relevant in the many of the virtual school start-ups. In my previous post, towards the end, I did try to go back and comment on your original questions in the post. Please *do* put me on comment moderation. My interest in commenting here is to dialogue with you. I welcome the opportunity to dialogue about this in private email when you are able and interested to do so.

~Annette

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote: Hopefully, we are not talking about privately funded and run cyber charters in OH. >>

Sorry, I meant privately run and funded, independent virtual school programs that could be(??) chartered--not cyber charters.
~Annette

10:20 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Okay, I have composed an entry to appear later in the week to address some of your issues, but to touch on some of them here.

1) About OH, you have proven my point.

But it was done at the state level and not an automatic thing. If charters were automatically considerd public schools, there wouldn't have been a need for the legislative change.

2) I get the rural thing, but you show interest (even your news links) to the bigger picture of virtual and cyber charters.

The news links are unfortunately not that intelligent. Both Google and Yahoo simply search for articles that include both cyber and school or virtual and school, not necessarily together. Having said that, I feel the need to have search engines for both because the press typically use cyber and virtual interchangable or incorrectly, and because outside of the United States virtual school and cyber school are the same thing (as evidenced by Darren's school).

3) Steilacoom district has a district-run K12Inc program.

K12, Inc. is a for profit provider of e-learning content. In most instances they provide their content for charter schools. That doesn't mean that the Illnois Virtual High School or Georgia Virtual High School (both public, state-wide virtual schools) couldn't lease a course to offer as their own or even lease space in a K12, Inc. course for their own students.

Think of K12, Inc. like a textbook publisher. A state, public school district, or cyber charter school can choose to use their widget, in the same way they make decisions to use one textbook publisher over another.

MKB

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
Thanks for taking the time. I don't see any real difference between WAVA (Steilacoom's K12Inc) and OHVA.
http://tinyurl.com/ktp7s

http://www.wava.org/
http://www.ohva.org/index.html

WAVA is sponsored by Steilacoom. It took legislative change to bring both of these virtual academies about.

I think, *IF* I understand correctly, you are more favorable to WAVA than you would be of OHVA.
I don't understand how you can be supportive(?) of the type of virtual program offered by WAVA and have a problem with OHVA. If you are, then really, you need to look at the different virtual charter schools/programs offered in OH and find out which ones are district ones (along the same lines as Steilacoom) and which ones are not district sponsored. Knowing that one school district in OH (Lucas County) sponsored over 100 charter schools (some probably virtual schools), that probably wouldn't be a good way method though.

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1152261076215960.xml&coll=2
**snip**
To stop the drain of students and money, 36 Ohio school districts have
started "e-schools" of their own, some just for high school but others
covering all grades. A few more districts have tried but ran into
trouble meeting funding rules. (end of snip)

It takes legislative change to bring about alternative education. It isn't a satisfactory criteria to state that if legislative changes had to take place at the state level, it's not public school. Following your line of thinking you would have to say that no alternative program qualifies a public school. This reasoning is flawed, I'm sorry to say. There are common qualities of public schooling that are met in the different choices of public education. Varing legislation is not enough of a difference to disqualify a school as not part of public education.

I understand the leasing that can take place with FLVS curriculum, APEX, and some of the other names. But the virtual school part (as in making distinctions between WAVA and OHVA) is not the same thing to me as just leasing courses.

magnet school -NOUN:
A public school offering a specialized curriculum, often with high academic standards, to a student body representing a cross section of the community.
http://www.psparents.net/magnet_schools.htm
The US Department of Education's definition is as follows:

(excerpt) ... the term magnet school' means a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.

~Annette

8:15 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Okay, let's look at these two examples.

WAVA describes the role of the teacher in their "public virtual school" as:

Partner With Teachers Who Share Your Passion for Home-Based Education
Although parents play the leading role in day-to-day lesson delivery, assessments, and time management, they are never alone in the education process. In fact, at WAVA, they interact with teachers on a regular basis, learning to navigate teaching techniques, pacing issues, comprehension challenges, positive reinforcement techniques, and other facets of the instruction experience.

Expect your teacher to be a consistent presence
You can be sure of receiving a lot of attention on a weekly and monthly basis. In fact, you're certain to interact with your teacher on a regular basis during:

Monthly progress meetings
- Parent/teacher workshops
- Teacher-guided outings
- Contact a teacher any time
The role of our teachers is primarily to make your children's education as successful as it can be. They are available each day to answer questions, address issues, and provide support. If they can't respond immediately, they usually respond with a call or e-mail within 24 hours.

Personally, I would not consider this virtual schooling because if you look at the description there is no real teaching being done by the virtual school. While they are using the title, this is simply an independent study program where they are providing the curriculum. Even on the mainpage, one of the six main links is a focus upon their curriculum, not a focus upon their delivery or pedagogy.

If you look at the OHVA, you see the exact (and I do mean exact). Virtual schooling implies that there is teaching going on. The parent is still the one primarily responsible for the delivery of instruction.

While maybe not the legal definition, this is simply homeschooling with support being provided by a public or charter for a fee. It is akin to you purchasing the same textbooks as your child's school would have used and then hiringone of the teachers from the school your child would have attended as a tutor to take your child on a field trip every couple of weeks and meet with you once a month to make sure you're keeping up to speed.

While I'm not saying that all situations where students do not attend brick and mortar schools at all are some form of glorified homeschooling, as I know this is the situation that many FLVS students find themselves in. The difference is that the FLVS teachers are the primary providers of instruction through synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods. There is no teaching going on at WAVA or OHVA.

MKB

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great. So if a statewide virtual school ends looks like WAVA or OHVA rather than FLVS, that would not be as preferable to you?

The only real distinction I can make so far is the role of the teacher and parent in the type of virtual school you are favorable towards. I cannot make a distinction based on whether it is a cyber charter or a virtual(I will when it is a cyber charter but it may mean this program differs ONLY in the fact as how it is allowed to exist as an option in a state). A district cyber charter may actually have the role of the teacher and parent that you favor. That is very possible. I will keep my eyes open for those types of cyber charters from now on.

9:23 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

I'm not against cyber schools per se. I have no problems with traditiona public school districts creating cyber charters for example, as I am a supporter of public schooling.

The problem for me is that it seems that in most of the cyber schools that I am familiar with, not all, but most have very little teaching going on. Basically they are selling access to content and the limited services of a glorified tutor (that they call a teacher).

MKB

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
Last year I spoke with someone who is in the administration of FLVS. I was talking with her about FLVS & the role of the parent and their teacher. She told me that if parents want flexibility with the curriculum and (basically) a partnership with a virtual school, that those individuals needed to enroll their children in FL's Connections or K12Inc. At some point, last month I thought you made a favorable reference to Connections. As I'm catching on to what the type of virtual learning that you are in most support of, Connections wouldn't be any more of a virtual school program than WAVA or OHVA. It would be cyber and no real teaching going on. Right?

~Annette

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am re-reading your comments here to refresh my memory:
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6074633&postID=115374473312917991

That would be under the heading: Starting a virtual school.

I'm reviewing Georgia's virtual school too: http://www.gavirtualschool.org/

~Annette

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MKB, I believe you mean to say that Charter schools are not TRADITIONAL Public Schools.

NCREL has a great list of all the possible variations but gives this wide based definition "Charter Schools are legally independent, innovative, outcome-based, public schools." http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/go/93-2what.htm

I agree fully that "inschoolers" (students that are recieving various types of internet supported public education - and thus considered to be "in-schooled" and not homeschooled.)
vary in the amount of teacher led instruction based on the description of the charter/or state defined program. However, this is the reason that charters exist, to break away from a traditional model and definition of schools that are being used today.
***Mel C.

12:41 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Annette,

The GVHS should be very much like the IVHS, I know that well over half of the people brought in to start it up came from Illinois.

MKB

1:45 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Mel C,

As Annette and I have hashed out, charter schooling is a form of public school, in that it is government-funded and government regulated. Even in the first sentence of the NCREL site that you included, is uses the term "strict definition" when it refers to charter schools as public schools.

The reality is that charter schools are typically seen and commonly used as an alternative to public schooling. Hence the reason why I choose to talk about them as separate from public schooling.

There is also the issue, as Annette and I have also hashed out, that charter schools are not always held to the same state and federal regulations as public schools - this does vary on a state by state basis.

MKB

1:52 PM  

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