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Online K-12 Cyber Schools Face a Number of Challenges

Online K-12 Cyber Schools Face a Number of Challenges

Cyber K-12 schools have become popular alternatives to families around the nation and the numbers continue to grow. From 2000 to the 2011-12 school year, the total grew from a few thousand to over 200,000. A study by the University of Colorado suggests that this number will continue to increase. 

Virtual schooling for students is becoming a more attractive option, said Tech Page One, but K-12 cyber schools have yet to receive as much attention as online higher education. There are, according to the article, concerns and challenges cyber schooling must face before they are 100% successful. 

"Many cyber-schooling programs have not provided students with an education that mets national averages," the article said. "However, cyber schooling faces major issues that must be addressed for it to be a more effective and appealing option for parents and students. These challenges include cookie-cutter curricula, low teacher-to-student ratios and low success rates."

Michael K. Barbour, assistant professor of educational leadership and director of doctoral studies at the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University examined these issues, and suggested that state and federal policymakers develpo long-term programs to research and evaluate these virual schooling programs. 

“Cyber schools are just not up to the level,” Barbour said. “Some only cater to a small group of students with low success rates.”

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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