Connections Education Statement Regarding CREDO/Mathematica Report on Online Charter Schools

October 27, 2015 — Connections Education welcomes open and informed conversations about virtual school. We appreciate the response to a call for research, but believe the latest reports by CREDO and Mathematica do not reflect Connections-supported virtual charter schools. Our data reveal more insight into how students engage with virtual school and how they perform. But to truly understand the benefits and challenges of virtual school, accountability frameworks must account for the distinct nature of instruction and the population served by online public schools. Over 65,000 students across the country have chosen to attend a virtual school supported by Connections Education – their motivations and satisfaction with the program cannot be overlooked. We look forward to working with the K-12 education community to move the virtual education discussion forward in a more productive direction – considering the function virtual schools serve and the student population they serve – to focus on strengthening these schools that so many American families are choosing to meet their students’ educational needs.

Sample data points

  • Proficiency rates increase for students who attend Connections-supported schools for more than a year (all subjects)
  • The difference in overall performance between students who enroll on time and enroll late is notable – but even late-comers see increased proficiency over time (YR 2+)
  • In general, students at schools supported by Connections Education meet or exceed state averages for Reading
  • FARM-eligible students enrolled at Connections-supported schools exceed performance of statewide FARM-eligible students in Reading.
  • SAT scores on par with national averages
  • Students who were enrolled for 4 years high school with Connections-supported schools had graduation rate = 84%