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Online charters have a history of poor performance: high attrition rates, low graduation rates, low test scores.
Will Huntsberry of the Voice of San Diego reports here that online charters were once again among the lowest performing schools in that city.
Virtual charter schools – as well as other charters that don’t use traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms – performed among the worst in San Diego County in a new analysis of test scores that took each school’s poverty level into account.
The analysis compared 632 schools across San Diego County. Out of 14 non-classroom-based charter schools, as they are called in education jargon, five scored among the 20 lowest-performing schools. Nine out of 14 schools scored among the bottom 15 percent.
California’s non-classroom-based schools have lived under a magnifying glass in recent years. State legislators placed a moratorium on new non-classroom schools, after executives from one online charter siphoned more than $80 million into their own private companies. Legislators also temporarily blocked the schools from receiving new funds.
The new analysis, performed by Voice of San Diego and the Center for Research and Evaluation at UC San Diego Extension, did not just look at a school’s test scores. It compared a school’s performance on standardized tests to other schools with similar poverty levels.
Brick-and-mortar charters performed in line with traditional public schools in the analysis. But non-classroom-based charters scored significantly worse.
These findings reenforce the statewide study of online charter schools in California, prepared by “In the Public Interest.” They have a long track record of failure nationally.