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ERIC Number: ED544283
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Authorizing Online Learning. Viewpoint
Patrick, Susan; Vander Ark, Tom
National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NJ1)
During this decade, American education will shift from print to digital, from flat and sequential content to engaging and adaptive, and from batch processing to personalized learning. There will also be a slow enrollment shift from traditional district-operated schools to schools and programs operated by organizations authorized under contracts or charter. As chief executive officer and chair of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the authors believe that one of the most important drivers of this historic shift is online learning. It is growing by more than 40 percent annually and creating new full- and part-time options for students and families. This paper refers specifically to online schools where instruction is delivered remotely by live teachers on a full- and part-time basis, also known as virtual or cyber learning. In many states, online learning began as a state-sponsored program with dedicated line item funding that became unsustainable with growth (because students were being double funded). To provide scalable, quality full- and part-time options, more than half of the states have authorized statewide charter or contract schools. However, most charter school legislation was drafted in the early 1990s and did not contemplate online opportunities. This paper deals with the three key questions that state policymakers and authorizers need to answer: (1) Who will operate and authorize online schools? (2) How will students be enrolled? and (3) How will they be funded? It concludes with advice on innovation and quality in online learning.
National Association of Charter School Authorizers. 105 West Adams Street Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-376-2300; Fax: 312-376-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Charter School Authorizers
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Arkansas; Florida