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K-12 online learning research in California

K-12 online learning research in California

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  • 1. Dissertation Topic (California State University, Fresno)
    A Comparative Study Between Online Charter High Schools and Traditional High Schoolsin California
    Rob Darrow, Ed.D.
    Virtual School Symposium, Nov. 2010
    Rob’s Wiki: http://robdarrow.wikispaces.com
  • 2. Background – National Trends
    Two educational trends challenging traditional education:
    ** Charter Schools ** Enrollment increases 11% - 20% per year
    ** Online Schools ** Enrollment increases 10% - 30% per year
    • Allen and Consoletti, 2010. Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Reform.
    • 3. Allen & Seaman, 2010.
  • One Other National Trend:Static Dropout Rates
  • 4. A little (parallel) history about charters and online schools
    1991-1992 – First states pass charter school laws (Minnesota and California)
    1994 – 1997 - First K-12 online schools.
    Utah Electronic School, VHS, Inc., Florida Virtual School
    2007 – Number of onlinecharter schools:
    173 in 18 states
    92,235 students (Center for Ed Reform, 2008)
    2009 – More than a million K-12 online school students(Picciano and Seaman, 2009)
    2009 – 5,042 charter schools serve over 1.5 million students in 40 states
  • 5. Research Focus: California, because…
    In California
    13% of the total U.S. K-12 public school student enrollment
    20% of the U.S. public charter school enrollment
    Top rated state regarding charter school law and policy
    National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2010)
  • 6. Research Focus
    Full Time Online Charter School Students
    Full Time Traditional High School Students
    At-Risk Students
    In California
    Measured By:
    Achievement Test Scores
    Dropout Rates
  • 7. Two silos from which information was collected:
    Full time students in traditional high schools, Grades 9-12, in California
    Full time students in online charter high schools, Grades 9-12, in California
  • 8. Research Questions
    1. Are there more at-risk students attending online charter high schools than traditional high schools in California?
    2. Are at-risk students more successful in online charter high schools than in traditional high schools in California?
  • 9. Defining Terms
    Online High School
    Attending courses online where 80% instruction is online
    Charter School
    independently operated public schools of choice (allowed by law in 40 states)
    any student not making progress towards graduation
    proficient on California Standards Test/English-Language Arts (CST ELA)
    lower number of student dropouts
  • 10. Online Course DefinitionsAllen & Seaman, 2007
  • 11. How are students who are at-risk / dropouts counted?
    One student counts as a dropout if either:
    A. Leaves a school and does NOT register at another school
    B. Leaves a school and does NOT have a high school diploma
    Standards set by US Department of Education (reported by states)
    Counted in Grades 7-12 in California
  • 12. How are online school students counted?
    • Part-time Online Students
    • 13. Take one or two online courses in addition to attending traditional school
    • 14. One student in one course per semester counts one
    • 15. Full Time Online Students
    • 16. One student attending the school counts one
    Watson, Gemin, Ryan & Wicks (2009). Keeping pace with K-12 online learning.
  • 17. Counting Online School Students, Part 2
    Part-time online students not officially counted, except as an estimate in response to a researcher’s survey
    Full time online students counted if they attend an online charter school
    In California, public school students, including online charters, are counted each October via California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS)
  • 18. Research and Dropouts
    “Lack of school success is probably the greatest single cause which impels pupils to drop out of school.”
    Ayres (1909). Laggards in our schools.
  • 19. Indicators Leading to Student Dropouts
    Individual factors
    Family factors
    School factors
    • Balfanz et al. (2009), Hammond (2007), Wehlage et al. (1989)
    School factors contribute to the
    majority of student dropouts
    • Schussler (2002), Natriello, McDill and Pallas (1990), Rumberger (1987), Wehlageand Rutter (1986)
  • High school graduation rates
    Graduation rates have stayed the same…75% for the past 40 years
    Wehlage et al. (1989)
  • 20. What causes at-risk students to be successful?
    Mentor programs or the presence of a significant caring adult can cause at-risk students to remain in school
    Camak (2007), Rysewyk (2008), Noddings (2005), Outlaw (2004).
  • 21. Comparison Study
    Online charter high school students
    14 existed in California – 2006-2009
    Traditional high school students
    Comparisons in:
    Growth Rates
    Achievement Rates
    Dropout Rates
  • 22. Results: California Standards Test / English-Language Arts (CST ELA)2007-08 and 2008-09
    Taken yearly in grades 9, 10 and 11
    Selected Online Charter Schools
    Selected Traditional Schools
  • 23. Year: 2007-2008CST ELA ComparisonsPercent Proficient and Above
    Online Charters Traditional Schools
  • 24. Year: 2008-2009CST ELA ComparisonsPercent Proficient and Above
    Online Charters Traditional Schools
  • 25. Results: Dropout Rates2006-07 and 2007-08
    Reported yearly in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
    Selected Online Charter Schools
    Selected Traditional Schools
    Note: Dropout data from 2008-2009 not available
  • 26. Year: 2006-2007Dropout Percentages by Grade
    Note: 2006-07 Online Charter School Enrollment in Grades 11 and 12 was less than 100 students per grade
    Online Charters Traditional Schools
  • 27. Year: 2007-2008Dropout Percentages by Grade
    Online Charters Traditional Schools
  • 28. Statistics: InCalifornia…
    Enrollment in online charter schools has increased each year for the past three years: 80%from 2006-07 to 2008-09
    Percent of students in charter high schools: 6% of total 9-12 enrollment
    Percent of students in online charter high schools: .16% of total 9-12 enrollment
  • 29. Results: Achievement and Dropouts
    Student Achievement (CST ELA)
    Somewhat greater in traditional high schools than in online charter schools
    Percentage difference ranged from 8% to 11%
    Dropout Rates
    Much greater in online charter schools than in traditional schools
    Percentage difference ranged from 22% to 55%
  • 30. Implications for Practitioners
    Full time online programs and charter schools attract more “at-risk” students because they have already left a traditional school
    How to engage “at-risk” students in online or charter schools is the same as traditional schools: need caring adults to build relationships with students
  • 31. Final Reflection Based on My Research
    Future students will attend schools that do have online options
    Education at all levels (K-12, community college, university) should be designing and offering fully online courses now
    Online learning will growwith or without the involvement of traditional schools
  • 32. Questions?
    Rob’s Wiki: http://robdarrow.wikispaces.com
  • 33. Selected References
    Charter School Statistics
    Allen, J., & Consoletti, A. (2010). Annual survey of America's charter schools. Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Reform. Retrieved March 10, 2010, from http://www.edreform.com/Press_Box/Press_Releases/?Annual_Survey_of_Americas_Charter_Schools_2010.
    Tice, P., Chapman, C., Princiotta, D., & Bielick, S. (2006). Trends in the use of school choice 1993-2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007045.
    Online School Statistics
    Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. Newburyport, MA: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://www.aln.org/publications/survey/learning_on_demand_sr2010.
    Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2007). Online nation: Five years of growth in online learning. Newburyport, MA: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved December 10, 2009, from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/online_nation.
    Watson, J., Gemin, B., Ryan, J., & Wicks, M. (2009). Keeping pace with K-12 online learning. Denver, CO: Evergreen Education Group. Retrieved December 10, 2009, from http://www.kpk12.com/download.html.
    At-Risk Students
    Wehlage, G. G., Rutter, R. A., Smith, G. A., Lesko, N., & Fernandez, R. R. (1989). Reducing the risk: Schools as communities of support. New York: Falmer Press.
    Cataldi, E. F., Laird, J., KewalRamani, A., & Chapman, C. (2009). High school dropout and completion rates in the United States: 2007. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved July 10, 2009, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2009064.
    • California Dropout Research Project. http://www.cdrp.ucsb.edu/.
    • 34. National Dropout Prevention Center. http://www.dropoutprevention.org/
    • 35. Alliance for Education Excellence. http://www.all4ed.org/