National Education Policy Center, a nonprofit education policy research center located at the University of Colorado, USA, presents their findings on the growth of virtual schools in their latest report titled “Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2021″.
After the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed our lives, online learning has been singularly the most discussed topic of any conversations on education globally. Being dropped into the middle of uncharted waters, the story, across the globe, has been one of just-in-time innovations and heroic survivals. But with the need for online learning (at least partially) seeming to stay on for the foreseeable future and in light of an emerging discussion of virtual schooling partially replacing the real ones even after the pandemic fully disappears, it is important to take stock of the situation and do a reality check.
At the same time, virtual schools have existed and has been growing as a model in the United States for a while now (well before the mainstream has been forced into it by Covid). Their growth has been tracked by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a nonprofit education policy research center located in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. NEPC presents their findings on the growth of virtual schools in their latest report titled “Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2021″. In the context of the universal adoption of online learning, their study becomes particularly interesting this year.
Unsurprisingly, the reports finds that the the performance of the virtual schools has a lot to improve. In almost all the aspects of education (student performance, learning outcomes, defining and adhering to standards etc.), they have their work cut out for them.
The report makes significant policy recommendations in order to standardize and streamline virtual schooling. For the mainstream education in the US and the rest of the world, these provide useful insights.