Opinion
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor

Online Education Is Only Option That Works for Some Families

April 04, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I write in response to the Digital Education blog post about the New York University and RAND Corp. study on online education in Ohio (“Online Charter Students in Ohio Perform Far Worse Than Peers, Study Finds,” Feb. 16, 2017).

While we at the Ohio Connections Academy support the need for research to determine what works best for students, we are disappointed by studies that fail to recognize areas of success.

The education outcomes reported in the study focus on student-achievement assessments and the Ohio Graduation Test, or OGT, from 2009 to 2013. During that time, the Ohio Department of Education rated our academy “excellent” for the 2009-10 school year, and “effective” for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. We met state averages or indicators for the OGT for school years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

More recently, during the 2014-15 school year, there were some bright spots in Ohio Connections Academy’s report card. The academy’s K-3 literacy score was a B, and it met state proficiency reading averages in the 4th through 8th grades. The academy also met state standards for most OGTs, and received an A in each broad category measuring student progress.

As policymakers and opinion leaders seek to bring accountability to online schools, they first should understand how these schools work. This is why we invite legislators and reporters to visit our learning centers to see how our students are engaged and how their progress is monitored as they work through the curriculum.

As discussions continue about making online education more accountable, I would argue that lawmakers are also accountable for maintaining school choice in Ohio. This choice should include online education, if for no other reason than this is the only option that works for some families. That choice should not be taken away from parents just because some schools fail or some measures obscure the accomplishments of students who are doing well. That’s true of traditional schools, too.

We should all be focused on doing a more thoughtful job of measuring results, so we all can be truly accountable.

Marie Hanna

Superintendent

Ohio Connections Academy

Mason, Ohio

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 05, 2017 edition of Education Week as Online Education Is Only Option That Works for Some Families

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson, mlive.com
4 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty