Some online schools a waste of money?

FOX23 found two students with very different virtual learning experiences. So we dug into whether anyone is holding online education programs accountable.

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user9 - 11/14/2012 7:56 PM
0 Votes
For an article about education, there sure are a lot of typos here. Please spend more time editing your work. Also, a lot of the facts here don't sound correct. I think that I will be getting my information elsewhere from now on. It sounds like fear-mongering and catering to a local program in my opinion (Hmmm... A Tulsa station discussing how "great" a Tulsa program is, while giving a negative review to its rival, which just happens to be a provider in a different city). Yeah, it sounds like someone got paid for this one.

OKVHS - 11/13/2012 12:50 PM
0 Votes
Advanced Academics partners with schools and districts throughout Oklahoma to offer Oklahoma Virtual High School (OKVHS). While online learning is not for everyone, statewide online programs like OKVHS give students access to advanced placement and electives courses not available through many Oklahoma public school districts. In addition, full-time online programs enable students who are at high risk of dropping out – including students who have been bullied, students with health problems or who need to work for financial reasons, and those that simply learn better outside the traditional classroom environment – to stay in school, receive their high school diploma, go on to college and become productive, fulfilled members of society. OKVHS students have immediate access to experienced, certified teachers who are available via phone, instant message and chat 24 hours a day during the school week. Statewide online educational programs are subject to the same accountability and attendance standards created and enforced by the state Board of Education for traditional public schools. Like all other public school students in Oklahoma, OKVHS students take part in annual state testing. OKVHS partner schools or districts enroll the students, confer credits, and oversee the progress and academic success of their students.

OKCAmom - 11/9/2012 6:07 PM
0 Votes
My daughter is in her second year as a student at Oklahoma Connections Academy. We needed to find an alternative method of education to accommodate her type-1 diabetes, because the traditional method of schooling was not working for her. She has absolutely thrived in a virtual setting. She knows her teachers and they know her far better than in a traditional setting. She was sent a box of brand-new textbooks before school began, had the opportunity to meet her teachers before school began, and has regular contact with them. She is supervised daily by her parent/learning coach. I also have regular contact with her teachers and work with them as a part of the team. She has placement testing at the beginning and the end of the school year to see her progress. The school requires mandatory participation in State testing as well. She works a minimum of 30 hours per week, on a flexible schedule that meets her needs. In traditional school, she spent time in the nurse's office taking care of herself and missed out on educational opportunities. That doesn't happen any more. She is a straight A student who loves and appreciates the opportunity virutal education has given her. I don't see this as a waste of money. She is working with a wonderful staff of teachers and a phenomenal principal who put the students' needs first. Isn't it the students and their benefit that we are supposed to be focusing on here? Perhaps, Janna, you should talk to some of our success stories and then tell the WHOLE TRUTH about virtual education!

Lauren - 11/9/2012 3:41 PM
1 Vote
Here in Oklahoma we have a choice. We can choose one of the "brick and mortar" public schools, an online public school, homeschooling, private school etc. Its a choice that I'm very thankful to have. Like any decision that we as parents make for our children, one has to do their own research to see which type of school is best for their child. Parents have to take the responsibility to find the best school, then partner with the teachers to help the child reach their full potential. That is true for Whatever type of education you want. I have no problem in saying that online education is not for everyone. Its a Lot of hard work! My two boys are in their third year with Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy. It took us a while to find a routine that works for us but I have seen great academic progress and am very pleased. If it wasn't for this choice, my eldest son would have been passed on from grade to grade-drowning in an old fashioned format of school that did Not work for him at all. Now he is learning and thriving and has his confidence back. It is very disheartening to read a story that seems so one sided. The money that is being spent is coming BACK into this state in the form of school books, work books, art and science supplies, maps, etc PLUS it pays for the teachers that live in this state! While not all online schools may work like this one--thats why doing research is so important!-its a valid public school choice. Its funny how people can get so irate over an online "for profit" school and yet will just put up with a neighborhood brick and mortar that is rated a D or --in the case of Tulsa county--could very well be an F! Everyone's main concern should be what is best for the children. Public online schools work for some and public brick and mortar works for others. Its a choice that we should be celebrating Not tearing down.

Bookboy23 - 11/9/2012 11:31 AM
0 Votes
Re: the diversion of our public education tax dollars to private, out-of-state online providers . . .What accountability is there on these out-of-state providers? That's a question for Janet Barresi. Especially when Oklahoma is #3 in the country as far as the biggest drop in education funding in the last three years. Do we really need to send these $$ out of state? Great story, FOX!

Steve - 11/9/2012 9:10 AM
0 Votes
It sounds as though Chelsea believes that her success in school is dependent on the efforts of other people rather than her own efforts. Online education is not for everyone. It is not for the student who lacks motivation. It is for the student who, for various reasons, has not had success or cannot attend an 8:00 to 4:00 school. It is also for students who get to their Senior year needing 9 credits to graduate and can only get 7 at their local school. All that being said, an online course can be more difficult than a course in a "brick and mortar" school. If your student's Algebra I teacher is supposed to cover 10 chapters in Algebra I, but only can finish 9 chapters by the end of the year, they still say that the students have earned a credit in Algebra I. Online courses do not have this flexibility. The student must finish the entire course or take zeros in the unfinished work. When your student enrolls at Edison or any other high school and is assigned to a particular English I teacher, you have no idea about the quality of education that your student is receiving. All most parents care about is whether or not their student is receiving a passing grade, at least until they take the ACT and get a score of 12, or can't pass freshman courses at the local university, so the enroll at the local community college, and still can't pass freshman courses. Online education is constantly growing and improving. At Advanced Academics, they make sure that their courses meet or exceed all of the state and national standards, standards which are constantly changing and requiring courses to become more and more challenging. We would like to think that the courses at our local school are doing this, but frequently you get the teacher who has been teaching Oklahoma History for 30 years and is going to continue teaching the same way he/she always has. In the end, its obviously a choice that parents and students are going to have to make together.

Mayor Maynot - 11/9/2012 3:31 AM
0 Votes
Momo3 your story sounds great (almost like an ad). Truth is @ virtual or brick and mortar schools; you only get out of it what you put into it. If the student is not able to teach the idea to themselves then they won't ever learn it. Another important factor is perception. If you can't get their interest then they will never get it. Correspondence courses are not much different from virtual schools. Practical application is 9/10ths. If they can't see how they can use that information then what's the use. TPS is using a virtual application in experimental classes THIS YEAR so it looks like something that you're going to start getting accustomed with in the near future (maybe next year there are still a bunch of teachers out there trying to pay off student loans). Of course they could probably make better money working as a waitress in an all-night diner but that's not the way they planned it. I've rambled on way too long

Parent of 3 - 11/8/2012 11:04 PM
0 Votes
My children attend a virtual school: Oklahoma Connections Academy. My children have never gotten a better education. The school meets the needs of all three of my children, and we never have to wait more than a few moments to get help from a teacher. We have special education supports as well as regular education. All three of my children are getting an education that is directed towards them. The program allows them more creativity than a traditional classroom. My children have access to electives and clubs that aren't available in the local schools. And most importantly, the teachers and staff care about my children, and my family. OK Connections Academy requires us to take attendance daily. If students get too far behind on lessons, the school will make contact with us and see if there is a way that we can work together to get the student not only caught up, but back on track for the remainder of the course. We talk to the teachers at least twice a week. Many times, it is more. Whether we are using the internal webmail system, live lessons, or phone calls, I have never felt lost, or like we couldn't get a hold of someone. I don't know what we would do if Oklahoma Connections Academy wasn't available to us. My children are succeeding at school while continuing to be challenged. They are happier, and so am I.
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