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Clinton Zehr was a student at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

Where Ohio Stands on Online Education

Background

More than 30,000 Ohio students attend school entirely online in one of the state’s full-time online charter schools. Many more take classes online in traditional public and charter schools and a growing number are enrolled in schools that use a “blended learning” model that mixes online and classroom instruction.

These stories are the result of a reporting partnership between StateImpact Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. StateImpact reporters Molly Bloom and Ida Lieszkovszky teamed up with Plain Dealer reporter Patrick O’Donnell to examine online schools.

Part 1: How online education is changing school in Ohio

Part 2: Few online school graduates go to college

Part 3: Running an online school can cost half as much as a traditional school

Part 4: A day in the life at an e-school

Online education is growing rapidly in Ohio and nationwide.

The 30,000-plus students enrolled in full-time online schools today is  more than 12 times the number of students enrolled online in 2000, when Ohio’s first virtual school opened. And it makes Ohio a national leader: Only one state, Arizona, had more students enrolled full time in online schools in 2010-11.

Most Ohio students enrolled in full-time online schools, about 90 percent, attend one of the seven statewide online schools. The remainder are in digital academies that serve smaller areas.

As a group, those statewide online schools’ performance is generally comparable to Ohio’s “Big 8″ urban school districts. However, online-school students attend postsecondary education at much lower rates.

Latest Posts

Online Schools Spend Millions on Advertising to Recruit New Students

In the stories on online education we wrote with the Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier this year, we looked at the huge growth in online charter schools and one of the big questions about those schools: Where does the money go? We found it’s possible to run an online school for about $3,600 per student. But [...]

What Ohio Can Learn From Idaho (Of All Places) About Teacher Unions and Online Ed

Remember Senate Bill 5? Well, earlier this year the Idaho state legislature passed two laws similar to Ohio’s now-defeated collective-bargaining reform law. The key difference between Idaho and Ohio was that Idaho’s laws would only have affected teachers. Senate Bill 5 would have affected all public employees. This November, Idaho voters decided to repeal them. [...]

How Many Online High School Graduates Really Go On to College?

When we teamed up with the Cleveland Plain Dealer to take a look at how Ohio’s statewide online schools perform, we found something that surprised us: A relatively small percentage of all online school graduates go on to any kind of postsecondary education. By postsecondary education, we mean two-year and four-year programs, as well as vocational programs. [...]

Officials, Educators Question Whether Online Schools are Making the Grade

Tom Woodward / Flickr Ohio has more students enrolled in full-time, online schools than most other states. (We teamed up with the Cleveland Plain Dealer) to write about online schools in Ohio last month.) Now Reuters reports that “a backlash is building” among those who question online schools’ performance: But the anger and skepticism elsewhere [...]

Two Stories on the Profits of Online Education

As we wrote earlier this week, there’s money to be made — and saved – in online education. That dynamic is playing out in some interesting ways. At Ohio University, one student says the pricing for digital access to learning materials is outrageous: We are expected to pay for digital access to something that fails to [...]

For Most Online School Graduates, Formal Education Stops with High School

TRECA Digital Academy staffer Tina Dracon helps 17-year-old Jonathan Poling get his computer set up as mother Liz looks on during an September orientation session.

Few graduates of Ohio’s statewide online schools attend postsecondary training: not a two-year community college, not a four-year public university and often not even training for a vocational certificate. Fewer than one in 10 online school graduates go on for postsecondary work, compared with nearly four in 10 for Ohio’s “Big 8″ urban districts, according [...]

Is Outsourcing Your Online Teaching Job Outright Cheating or Plain Old Common Sense?

hobvias sudoneighm / Flickr Marilyn Hiestand was a teacher at one of Ohio’s largest online schools, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT. She lost her teaching license earlier this month after the school found out she hired a former student to do some of her work. (See Student Impersonates Teacher at Ohio Online School For More [...]

Student Impersonates Teacher at Ohio Online School For More Than a Year

On the internet, no one can tell if you're a dog. Or a teacher who's not really a teacher.

For more than a year, a teacher at one of Ohio’s largest online schools hired a former student to teach her classes and work with students. The students apparently had no idea their “teacher” was a college dropout whose work experience consisted of stints at Burger King and in a hospital laundry. The Electronic Classroom [...]

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