Accountability

Virtual Education Sees Shift to Accountability

By Ian Quillen — February 07, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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

BRIC ARCHIVE

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.

Related Tags:

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

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 

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

Accountability Timeline: How Federal School Accountability Has Waxed and Waned
From its origins in the 1990s to the most-recent tack, see how the federal approach to accountability has shifted.
4 min read
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Accountability School Accountability Is Restarting After a Two-Year Pause. Here's What That Means
For a moment, the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in doing what periodic protests about school accountability couldn't: Halting it.
10 min read
Illustration of a gauge.
4zevar/iStock/Getty
Accountability Opinion Let's Take a Holistic Approach to Judging Schools
Parents wouldn't judge their kids based on a single factor. So, says Ron Berger of EL Education, why must schools use a lone test score?
8 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Accountability Opinion Are K-12 State Tests Like a Visit to the Pediatrician?
Even if the doctor’s trip isn’t pleasant, at least parents get something out of it they believe is worthwhile.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty