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Virtual Schools: Trends and Issues. A Study of Virtual Schools in the United States.

Clark, Tom

Abstract: This report provides a summary and analysis of activities and trends of virtual schools (i.e., educational organizations that offer K-12 courses through Internet- or World Wide Web-based methods) across the United States. The study provides analysis of trends based on an online survey of state-approved or regionally accredited schools conducted from July through August 2001. A peer group of 44 virtual schools was surveyed, with e-mail and telephone follow-up. Virtual school profiles are presented for: state-sanctioned state-level virtual schools; college and university-based virtual schools; consortium and regionally-based virtual schools; local education agency-based virtual schools; virtual charter schools; private virtual schools; and for-profit providers of curricula, content, development tools, and infrastructure. Highlights include: (1) the trend from virtual high schools to virtual K-12 schools continues; (2) $300 per semester was the most reported tuition, but prices varied greatly; and (3) calculus AB was the online AP (advanced placement) course offered by the most schools. Several context factors influencing the development of virtual schools are summarized, including demographic factors, public perceptions, education market forces, technology access, curriculum equity, and government policies and actions. The virtual school list is appended. (Contains 14 references.) (MES)

Title: Virtual Schools: Trends and Issues. A Study of Virtual Schools in the United States.
Author: Clark, Tom
Note: Produced by TA Consulting. Co-sponsored by Center for the Application of Information Technologies, Western Illinois University.
Page Length: 43
Publication Year: 2001
Document Type: Evaluative Report (142)
Target Audience: Media Staff and Practitioners and Teachers
ERIC Identifier: ED462923
Clearinghouse Identifier: IR021078
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Descriptors: * Computer Uses in Education; * Educational Development; Educational Technology; * Educational Trends; Elementary Secondary Education; Internet; School Surveys; Virtual Classrooms; * Web Based Instruction; World Wide Web

Identifiers: Technology Utilization

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