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State Board of Education: Online Learning Presented by Jan McComb, Board Staff.

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Presentation on theme: "State Board of Education: Online Learning Presented by Jan McComb, Board Staff."— Presentation transcript:

1 State Board of Education: Online Learning Presented by Jan McComb, Board Staff

2 Elements of Online Learning: Some or all curriculum is delivered via computer/internet Can be comprehensive or supplemental Teachers contact students in various ways, varying frequency No traditional geographic/district limits (no school buses!) Younger students need adult at home

3 Targeted Students Home Schoolers Traveling students Students who are ill or disabled Bullied students or otherwise not comfortable at school Private school students Other charter schools students

4 ORCA Students: 56% Traditional Public 22% Home School 11% No Prior Schooling 6% Private School 3% Charter School

5 Online Charter Schools in Oregon: Oregon Connections Academy (Scio SD) Oregon Virtual Academy (North Bend) Estacada Web Academy (North Clackamas SD) Baker Web Academy Clackamas Web Academy Gresham-Barlow Web Academy Silvies River Web Academy Sheridan Web Academy

6 Why Charter Schools? Open Enrollment -- Students from outside the district may attend w/o district permission. Open enrollment associated with rapid growth. Not Usually District Initiated -- Parent, teacher, community creates proposal for district consideration. Less Regulation -- A limited number of provisions apply to charter schools. Schools are supposed to be innovative, flexible, offer choice

7 Primary Concerns Quality Education: comprehensive, engaging curriculum, adequate support from teacher Equity: School is option for all; complies with charter school law. Responsible Use of Tax Dollars: Citizens are getting good value for their investment.

8 Issues - Governance  Who should make student placement decisions? The district or the parent?  Should districts be protected from losing their students?  Should a single district operate a school that operates throughout the state?  Are charter schools the appropriate framework for statewide, comprehensive online schools?  Do commercial vendors prioritize student needs?

9 Issues - Funding Currently funded using charter school formula: minimum of 80% ADMw for grades K-8, and 95% for grades 9-12. Districts split the remaining 5-20% with the sending school district. Funding assumes brick & mortar schools—food, facilities, more staff, less technology, transportation, sports, music, extracurricular programs

10 Issues - Funding Less expensive? Source of revenue for sponsoring district? To date, online schools serve fewer higher cost students, so the “average” in ADMw may be higher than what school districts experience. Use of commercial vendors may diminish the degree of transparency in school budgets.

11 Issues - Teachers Licensed and highly qualified? Employees of the school or vendor? Training on teaching in an online environment? When are parents teachers?

12 Issues – Students & Equity Increases Equity – Some argue that online schools better meet the needs of students who have individual academic needs, who work, do not have access to some courses, or otherwise do not fit well within the traditional structures of brick-and-mortar schools. Decreases Equity – Others argue that online schools discriminate against those who do not speak English, or do not have an adult at home during the day. Some online schools require students pay for the internet connection.

13 Issues – Education Program Should students get all their courses online? How will students be assured that courses are rigorous and acceptable to higher education? How will the online school be assured that the work is the student’s? Should online courses have different qualities based on the age of the learner?

14 Issues – Education Program Should class sizes be limited? Should a minimum amount of student-teacher contact be required? Should courses be accredited? Should policies distinguish between very young learners and high school-level learners? What about sports, music, or social events?

15 2005 Legislative Intervention Added 50% Provision Created Oregon Virtual School District

16 50% Student Residency Requirement “... If a public charter school offers any online courses as part of the curriculum of the school, then 50% or more of the students who attend...must reside in the school district in which the public charter school is located.” ORS 338.125

17 Oregon Virtual School District State began virtual library of free courses for teachers to create their own cyber classes. Some of the available courses are U.S. History, AP Calculus, Oregon Writers, Earth Science, and Art Appreciation. Included are full lesson plans with student learning activities

18 State Board May Waive 50% Law Oregon Virtual Academy granted with conditions West Lane Technology Charter School granted with conditions Oregon Connections Academy - pending Insight Schools of Oregon – withdrawn (now operating under alternative education laws)

19 Board Waivers By mid-2009, 6 schools asked for waiver: West Lane Tech (approved w/limits) Oregon Virtual Academy (approved w/limits) Insight School of Oregon (withdrawn) Sisters Web Academy (withdrawn) Marcola Web Academy (withdrawn) Oregon Connections Academy (pending, then frozen by SB 767)

20 2009 Legislative Intervention SB 767 Highlights: Only licensed, highly qualified teachers Internet connection reimbursement offered Computers, printer offered A plan for school-sponsored events Twice-a-week teacher contact Requires sound financial management system; budget, business plan Plan to improve student learning Academic performance goals Means to track & monitor student attendance

21 2009 Legislative Task Force SB 767 created 17-member Online Learning Task Force with diverse representation Required a report that addressed a long list of topics (grades, curriculum, funding, reporting, class sizes, sponsor criteria Result: Report and HB 3660

22 2010 Legislative Intervention: HB 3660 HB 3660 Required: Uniform budgeting & accounting system Student attendance/progress monitored Administrators must be licensed Enrollment notification to resident district Defines “virtual public school” Marketing info must state school is public

23 Virtual Public School Definition Provides online courses; and Does not primarily serve students in a physical location

24 HB 3660 Charges to State Board of Education Develop a proposed governance model for virtual public schools and virtual public charter schools Review appropriate levels and methods of funding for such schools Identify which virtual public schools and virtual public charter schools enrolled students with disabilities; and to review participation rates of students with disabilities.

25 Virtual Schools & Spec. Ed. No virtual schools reported that they provided special education 5% of virtual students identified as special ed (12.8% state average) Many parents revoked student’s special education status

26 Virtual Schools & Spec. Ed. Higher enrollment than state average for these students: Autism (15.4% v. 10% state) Emotional Disturbance (9.2% v. 6.4%) Other Health Impairment (15.4% v. 13%) Specific Learning Disability (41.2% v. 37.6%)

27 Meanwhile... ODE and DOJ investigate allegations regarding the multiple web academies, “early colleges” online provider. Allegations include: Miscounting students to avoid 50% rule Moving students to different schools w/o permission Misspending federal and state funds Financial instability Failure to follow charter Threatening to charge students tuition

28 Closed Online Charter Schools: Marcola Early College Marcola All Prep Sisters Early College Sisters All Prep Sheridan All Prep

29 Board Proposal Separate virtual school requirements from charter school law Existing virtual charter schools would need board approval and comply with virtual school law Statewide schools would need board approval to operate

30 Board Proposal Existing virtual schools could continue for two years or until charter expires Up to 3% of district students could leave for non-district online school Virtual schools would be funded at 90% ADMw ODE could charge schools fees

31 Benefits of Board Proposal ODE would scrutinize ability of school to deliver education State approval would allow state to suspend/terminate approval for bad actors Districts would be saved from doing own research

32 Benefits of Board Proposal State monitoring would be beefed up through adequate funding Districts might be more likely to offer own online school option; lose fewer students to other districts Virtual schools would have adequate funding at 90%

33 What’s next? 2011 Legislature Board Proposal ESD/District Proposal (district placement) Other proposals? New Governor

34 Conclusion Online learning is here to stay; legislature will determine: What students may attend them Whether schools operate without district boundaries or within them What the funding level should be Whether schools offer comprehensive or supplementary courses.

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