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9/6/2012 4:38:24 PM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Kansas--Studies: Virtual Schools Create Poor Student Achievement

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Kansas--Studies: Virtual Schools
Create Poor Student Achievement

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

If a friend of yours starts this school year by telling you how
wonderful her Kansas public-school-at-home program (or virtual school)
is, you might want to ask her if she has read the headlines from all
over the country showing that students in public virtual school
programs fare poorly academically. For example:

Lagging Behind

The national publication Education Week noted that students in public
full-time online programs in Colorado "typically lagged behind their
peers on virtually every academic indicator." Worse, scores actually
dropped when students transferred from brick-and-mortar to online
schools. The double-digit gap was persistent, and worse among the
children of affluent parents.

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15630
Goals Not Met

A Western Michigan University study showed that only 27.7% of
full-time virtual schools run by K12 Inc. met federal academic
progress goals (vs. 52% of traditional public schools).

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15631
Subject Struggles

The Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes
reported that virtual students scored 13% worse in reading and 24%
worse in math than students in public brick-and-mortar schools. .

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15632
Profit and Loss

An article in the New York Times described a public school at home
program where 60% of its students were behind in math and nearly 50%
were behind in reading. While profitable for its corporate owner, the
author believed there were "serious questions" about whether full-time
online public schools actually benefit children.

The Times wrote: "a portrait emerges of a company that tries to
squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment,
increasing teacher workload, and lowering standards."

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15633
Not Proficient

In a recent survey of California public school at home programs, only
48% of students scored at the "proficient" level in English-Language
Arts. Elementary math proficiency was about 22%. The Algebra 1
proficiency was only 12%. The scores were so bad that a commentator
asked, "Why does the emperor have no clothes?"

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15634

Falling Behind

The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado
Boulder reported that "students taking K12 Inc. classes in Idaho and
four other states are falling more behind in math and reading than
their traditional school counterparts."

Read more:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15635
True Homeschool Success

Compare this with the well-known success of homeschool students. Dr.
Lawrence Rudner of the University of Maryland, in his landmark 1999
study published in the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and
Evaluation, noted that homeschooled 2nd graders scored one grade level
ahead of others; 5th graders scored two grades ahead; and 8th graders
scored an astonishing four grade levels ahead of others!

See Figure 2 (about half way through the document):
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15636
Books provided by public-school-at-home programs cannot tell the truth
about God (because of court decisions). For parents who see
homeschooling as a form of discipleship, that's enough to make the
decision. But even for parents primarily interested in academics, the
verdict is in: virtual school programs appear to be simply the worst
possible choice.

Let's send a clear message. Parent-directed, parent-controlled,
homeschooling working hand-in-hand with the liberty to incorporate the
truth about God unashamedly into every subject--and operated entirely
without government "help"--is simply the gold standard of education
and family discipleship.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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