Eye on Education


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

Where Ohio Stands on Online Education


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.

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