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Is digital learning a solution or a problem for academically-at risk students?  In this recent piece in the New York Times, the author concludes the latter.

But was it really online learning that caused the students to fall behind?

Data from more than 24,000 students who enrolled in our partner online schools in the fall of 2017 showed that, upon enrollment, only an astonishing 5 percent of these students were prepared to learn grade-level content based on commercially-available readiness assessments. Overwhelming numbers of students who arrive at online schools are behind grade level. The reasons they struggled in the classroom, and why they selected an online school option, often included bullying, a medical condition, or the very fact that they were struggling academically in the traditional school.

With online schools, just like traditional schools, persistence is one of the keys to academic achievement. Based on our 2016-2017 state assessment data, English Language Arts students actually demonstrated a significant increase in proficiency as result of online study. Though only 38 percent of English Language Arts students were proficient upon enrollment, within two years, a majority of these students, 54 percent, tested as proficient.

Read the full story from  The Heartland Institute’s Freedom Pub

About The Author

Kevin P. Chavous

Kevin P. Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools, joined K12 in November 2017. Mr. Chavous is a noted education reform leader and innovator with a well-chronicled track record of empowering families with education choice and driving change and opportunity for children of all backgrounds and circumstances. Mr. Chavous has worked to advance quality education programs around the nation, most notably as the Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, where he helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital. In addition, he was the founding Board President of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chavous is the founder of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding board member of the American Federation for Children. He has been instrumental in advancing charter school and education choice programs around the country, and in 2016, he was inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame. In addition, he received the distinguished Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School in Indianapolis. Additionally, Mr. Chavous is an accomplished author, having published four books, including Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education; Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds; and Building a Learning Culture in America, as well as his first novel, The Plan, a political thriller. A prolific writer and inspirational speaker, Mr. Chavous’ opinion editorials have appeared in many major newspapers, and he has given education reform speeches in nearly every state. Mr. Chavous graduated from Wabash College, where he was an NCAA District All-American in basketball. He was inducted into the Wabash Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Mr. Chavous graduated from the Howard University School of Law, where he was president of his graduating class.

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