Despite serious problems and a lack of research support, virtual schools continue to spread

Lawmakers throughout the nation continue to support the spread of virtual schools despite the fact that research reveals overwhelming evidence of poor performance, according to a new review by the National Education Policy Center. Given the evidence, the review recommends that policymakers slow or stop the growth in the number of virtual and blended schools and the size of their enrollments until the reasons for their relatively poor performance have been identified and addressed.

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Report says virtual schools need to be improved before expanding

Students in virtual schools are, overall, not performing well, and policymakers should focus on analyzing and improving virtual education before allowing expansion of these schools, according to a new report. The report by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is based on in-depth analysis of virtual education in five states, including Wisconsin. It found, for example, that in 2015-16 Wisconsin had 26 virtual schools enrolling 6,424 students, and two-thirds of the virtual schools that were rated received unacceptable performance ratings according to state standards.

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Virtual, blended schools continue to grow despite poor performance

Although the number of parents and students choosing virtual and blended schools in the United States is rising, new evidence suggests these schools lag significantly behind traditional brick-and-mortar schools, a brief released Wednesday finds. “Policymakers should hit the brakes on the rapid expansion of online schools until accountability measures are in place that ensure they’re no longer failing,” said WEAC President Betsy Kippers.

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