Accountability

Virtual Education Sees Shift to Accountability

By Ian Quillen — February 07, 2012 1 min read

Virtual schooling is in the era of a fundamental shift in its development that should be embraced, not feared, argue the authors and sponsors of the 2011 version of the “Keeping Pace” annual report on virtual schooling.

While most virtual school advocates in the past may have focused on gaining exposure for their programs, experts suggest they should shift toward emphasizing accountability and transparency in those programs to a community at-large becoming more aware of virtual education. And despite some recent negative press about online schooling’s benefit or lack thereof, they agree that many virtual providers are heading in this direction.

States With State Virtual Schools or State-led E-Learning Initiatives

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SOURCE: “Keeping Pace With K-12 Online Learning,” 2011

“When these programs started, they started out of a point of pain,” says Andy Scantland, the vice president of sales and marketing for Advanced Academics Inc., the Oklahoma City-based provider of public and private online programs, and a sponsor of the report from the Evergreen Education Group of Durango, Colo. “As a result, there wasn’t a lot of measurability or a lot of accountability. I think that’s changed a lot, and the report reflects that.”

Scantland says some recent pushback reflects the movement of virtual schooling toward the mainstream. That movement is also reflected in one of the report’s central findings—that single-district programs are the fastest-growing sector of the virtual school landscape.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2012 edition of Digital Directions as Virtual Education Sees Shift to Accountability

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