- Date published:
2:26 pm, August 23rd, 2016 - 218 comments
Categories: education, national, schools, useless, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: charter schools, online schools, privatisation, stupid
It’s not April 1st, so I’m forced to conclude that this is a genuine announcement:
Students to learn online from home instead of at school under major education reform
School-age students will be able to enrol in an accredited online learning provider instead of attending school, under new Government legislation.
The radical change will see any registered school, tertiary provider such as a polytechnic or an approved body corporate be able to apply to be a “community of online learning” (COOL).
An “approved corporate body”. Excellent.
Any student of compulsory schooling age will be able to enrol in a COOL – and that provider will determine whether students will need to physically attend for all or some of the school day.
Attendance requires infrastructure and staff, such a drag on profits. Easier to do it all online don’t you think?
Regulations will set out the way in which attendance in an online learning environment will be measured.
Yeah there were regulations for Charter schools too, but when push came to shove they turned out not to mean anything.
Online schooling models are used overseas. In the United States, there has been strong growth in the number of online charter schools, which are publicly-funded but privately-run. Some of the schools in the US providing online tuition do not have physical classrooms – students and teachers work from home on computers, communicating over email or a web platform.
More of this below.
Dr Schollmann’s impact statement did note that international evidence suggests access to online learning increased student movement between providers, which could harm learning. There is also a risk that schools could use the changes to “move on” troublesome students.
However, she noted that accreditation would be removed from providers who had poor results.
And once again – the evidence from Charter schools is that such regulations get ignored.
Online learning works well for a subset of students, but it doesn’t work well for the majority. From the American experience:
Stanford study shows that online charter school students are lagging
Students in the nation’s virtual K-12 charter schools — who take all of their classes via computer from home — learn significantly less on average than students at traditional public schools, a new study has found.
The online charter students lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year, the study found. In other words, when it comes to math, it’s as if the students did not attend school at all.
“There’s still some possibility that there’s positive learning, but it’s so statistically significantly different from the average, it is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year,” said Margaret E. Raymond, project director at the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO, at Stanford University.
Why must we always follow international examples of worst practice a decade or two after America?
The study looked at students attending full-time, publicly funded virtual schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia and annual academic performance between 2008 and 2013. … The average online charter student lagged in reading achievement behind their counterparts attending traditional schools in all states except for Wisconsin and Georgia, where their growth was “significantly stronger.”
When it comes to math, students attending online charters did worse in 14 states and performed the same as their counterparts at traditional schools in three states — Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“It may be good for some students, but the evidence suggests for the majority of online students, the online charters are not serving them very well when it comes to academic growth,” said James L. Woodworth of CREDO, which collaborated on the study with the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and Mathematica Policy Research.
For further reading see: Online-only schools show dismal performance. What can be done?. Oh – and this:
Online Public Schools Are a Disaster, Admits Billionaire, Charter School-Promoter Walton Family Foundation
For the second time in three months, the Walton Family Foundation—which has spent more than $1 billion to create a quarter of the nation’s 6,700 public charter schools—has announced that all online public school instruction, via cyber charter schools, is a colossal disaster for most K-12 students.
“If virtual charters were grouped together and ranked as a single school district, it would be the ninth largest in the country and among the worst performing,” co-wrote Walton’s Marc Sternberg and Marc Holley, respectively the foundation’s director of educational giving and its evaluation unit director, in a recent Education Week commentary. “Online education must be reimagined. Ignoring the problem—or worse, replicating failures—serves nobody.”
Last fall, the giant foundation, which has pledged to spend its second billion to expand charter public schools nationally between now and 2020, simultaneously released three detailed comissioned studies finding more than two-thirds of America’s 200,000 charter students receiving all of their instruction over the Internet were barely learning the basics.
“The majority of online charter students had far weaker academic growth in both math and reading compared to their traditional public school peers,” their experts’ press release said, after noting that kindergarten-through-high school students need to be in classrooms with live teachers, not occasional faces on computer screens. “To conceptualize this shortfall, it would equate to a student losing 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math, based on a 180-day school year.” …
And that’s academic criteria, never mind the social and physical development that real schools foster. Hands up those who want their kids to grow up interacting only with a keyboard?
Expanding this form of education beyond the bare minimum that is absolutely necessary (e.g. our well established Correspondence school) is the stupidest, most damaging idea I have ever heard from this stupid, damaging government.
John Oliver on this subject (thanks adam in comments):