Audit flags dropout rates, scores at online schools

  • Article by: SARAH LEMAGIE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2011 - 9:26 PM

Virtual students drop out of school at higher rate, lag far behind in math scores.

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nasethSep. 19, 11 4:15 PM

The writer of the opinion piece on this same subject might be regretting submitting that piece before seeing this evidence.

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joniellenSep. 19, 11 4:46 PM

Attrition is more common with adult learners online, as well. I'm in favor of online learning, but it is not a perfect solution. Nor are traditional face to face classrooms, thus the need for online options.

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jjsbrwSep. 19, 11 5:53 PM

When implemented properly, online learning can be a PART of an effective education. It has yet to be shown as anything more than that.

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camb24Sep. 19, 11 6:00 PM

It's all about what you put in to it! I know a 17 year old that is currently doing online and is loving it. BUT.....he is giving it 110%! Most kids do not! He works full time 2nd shift and does school work from 8am-1Pm every day....Out of bed and dressed at a desk with no tv or friends to distract! His parents are supporting him 110% and expect him to do more than what he is being asked to do! Unfortunately, I think he may be a rare breed!

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jbpaperSep. 19, 11 6:05 PM

Common sense will tell you these won't work. If a student doesn't want to participate in school, what makes you think they will try harder at home with no supervision? Online schools are good for people who want to learn more but don't have time to go to a classroom. In other words, they are good for continuing education not for a basic education.

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jbpaperSep. 19, 11 6:12 PM

naseth; While the opinion piece showed a sixth grader in the picture (not sure why), he seemed to be talking more about college while this article is about high school. In my opinion, there is a difference.

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Wally_99Sep. 19, 11 6:20 PM

Steve Shenk, you hyped it up, cashed out, and watched the "vision" collapse while you could make a fortune at the expense of many others. Well done.

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huebeeSep. 19, 11 6:52 PM

I think the audit may be flawed because it does not take in consideration of whether the student was already underperforming before starting on-line schooling. I suspect a larger percentage of students who are turning to on-line schooling are doing so because they are underperforming in traditional schooling. The question is not how the students perform against traditional students, but are they improving their own performance. I would trust someone with education background than a legislative auditor. I would trust recommendations from Department of Education over recommendations from a legislative auditor. Seriously, what does Jim Nobles know about education.

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Wildcat17Sep. 19, 11 7:07 PM

Gee, what a shocker! Not!

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mmediaSep. 19, 11 8:03 PM

I have over 20 years teaching in a rural district and I have also taught for an Online HS the past 5 years in an advanced elective writing course. 1) 50% of the kids who started the class actually finished and passed. 2) One HS offered the exact same class with multiple sections and when I asked one student from there why he was taking mine, he said,"I don't like any of the teachers teaching it." 3) After getting to know some of the kids, I found out some needed the credit from my advanced writing class because they failed 9th and 10th grade language arts (They obviously didn't have the skills or motivation to write research papers.) Cutting and pasting Wiki entries was rampant, and trying to explain why it was wrong and why I wouldn't accept it was like talking to a wall except over IM. Going days without logging-in was commonplace for many of the kids. I could go on and on, but I will say the course management software like D2L and Moodle are a benefit and all teachers should make use of it. (sadly my district is filled with admin and other teachers counting down to retirement and they won't spend a dime to add the software so we can have blended/hybrid classes.) If kids are truly motivated, passed all the prerequisites, and their district doesn't offer the class, then it is useful.

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