Students are individuals, and learning is personal. These are the two tenets on which online schools were built, and it is what is driving students around the country to this new education model. Yet, while online schools are working for thousands of K-12 students, the model needs to continue to evolve so it helps more succeed.
This means recruiting and training effective online teachers. It means engaging students with rich, interactive content. It means providing academic support to students who need it, and it means state policies that focus on keeping students engaged, learning and progressing toward graduation.
Online schools can do more to improve student outcomes, but they also need the backing of good state policies to enforce programs and procedures that have proven to be most effective. Most importantly, policy should expand access to education and not limit it with a selection process that weeds out students who are deemed unlikely to succeed.
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