[NHDOE-ETNews] Governance Challenges in K-12 Online Learning

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Thu Mar 22 10:21:56 EDT 2012


on the ETNews Listserv


Boulder, CO (March 22, 2010) -- Overcoming the Governance Challenge in
K-12 Online Learning, the fifth and final paper in the Fordham
Institute's series examining digital learning policy, proposes steps to
move the governance of K-12 online learning from the local district
level to the less restrictive state level and to create a free market
for corporate innovation in K-12 online learning.
In a new review of the report for the Think Twice think tank review
project, Michael K. Barbour of Wayne State University finds that its
central premise-that K-12 online learning will lead to increased student
achievement-lacks support.
Reviewer Barbour has been involved with K-12 online learning in Canada,
the United States and New Zealand for more than a decade as a
researcher, teacher, course designer and administrator. His research
focuses on the effective design, delivery and support of K-12 online
learning, particularly for students located in rural jurisdictions
The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed
at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.
Barbour observes that the body of research to date suggests that there
is no learning advantage for virtual schools.
Further, no evidence is presented that supports the wisdom or efficacy
of centralizing governance at the state level or that moving to a market
model is a superior, productive or economical practice, he writes.
Barbour observes that the recommendation that virtual schools should be
funded at the same per-pupil amount as traditional public schools raises
the question of profiteering, given Fordham's claim that virtual schools
operate more economically-a claim for which is limited evidence.
The report, he concludes appears to be ideologically motivated and
designed to open up the $600 billion market of K-12 education to
for-profit corporations.





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