Franklin County virtual academy created

Franklin County virtual academy created

There are 39 comments on the Public Opinion story from Jun 5, 2011, titled Franklin County virtual academy created. In it, Public Opinion reports that:

Chambersburg Area School District has 238 students who attend a form of online charter school.

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In the public interest

New Bloomfield, PA

#1 Jun 6, 2011
"Some colleges and universities are not easily accepting those diplomas from other schools."

Why not? Did anyone bother researching collegiate performance of students participating in online classes as opposed to that of traditional classroom schooling? Perhaps they require more remedial courses in order to catch up to other students. Did you check? No, you didn't. Instead you want to trick colleges into thinking the students attended and graduated from a traditional school setting.

"At Chambersburg, the district will set up specific days where students can come in for extra academic help. While it may not be with a students specific online instructor, it will still be with an appropriate teacher in the district, McCallum said."

Are these additional teachers volunteering for this? I suspect not. Is the cost of this additional service calculated in to the estimated overall cost of having the student attend the virtual school? I suspect not as well.

"We feel we can provide an equal -- if not better -- education than the cyber charter schools provide."

Note this statement does not say "We feel we can provide an equal -- if not better -- education than a traditional classroom."

All that money for a big new building which hasn't increased student performance and now the district is spending money to set up virtual classrooms online, with dubious results. Can't teach them in a traditional setting but surely they can teach them in a virtual one.

More smoke, mirrors, and added costs, with no real results.
cool

Shippensburg, PA

#2 Jun 6, 2011
So
If my next kid has the same POS teacher that my older child had-I'm going to cyber school. This seems like a good deal for parents.
Sobeit

Greencastle, PA

#3 Jun 6, 2011
"More smoke, mirrors, and added costs, with no real results." You nailed it!

It's time that we all accept the reality of cyberschools. Financially traditional schools are way ahead right where they are. The receive a hefty payment for each student in their district who attends a cyberschool. They do nothing to earn it. It's money in the bank. They can't lose. Now they're going into competition with no experience.

Cyber schools were established to provide an alternative to the traditional schools both in respect to administration and to mode of instruction. What they now proposes is akin to food service in a hotel, ship or resort park. It is all prepared by the same cooks in the same kitchen. Your choice is do you want it on a paper plate at the picnic table or on china at the dinner table. The menu, by design, is identical.

If these clowns focused on more effective use of time and money and producing as good or better results with the same resources, we would all be better off.
Due Process

York, PA

#5 Jun 6, 2011
So the same colleges who are now offering most of their classes on-line, are leery of accepting high school students in the same on-line programs (i.e. cyber schools)? What kind of logic is that?

If we can provide a better education with our own cyber program, shouldn't we consider closing the doors on the traditional schools in the area? According to the article, it would cost us less and the education would be better (their words, not mine).
DOOPtastic

West Chester, PA

#6 Jun 6, 2011
In the interest of full disclosure, I work for a cyber charter school in Pennsylvania.

Therefore, I can dispel some of the - let's call them "myths" - in this article.

MYTH 1 - "According to Diane McCallum, CASD district liaison for the academy, colleges and universities are still wary of accepting students with degrees from cyber schools."

This is simply not true. College and universities often have their own online programs, so they recognize the educational value that can come from a cyber education. For proof of my assertion, take a look at the list of colleges and universities that one cyber school's graduates were accepted to in 2010 - http://locker.palcs.org/~cbowe/list%20of%20co... .(Please note that there are a wide variety of institutions, including three Ivy League schools.)

Myth #2 - "All our classes will be taught by a certified educator." Here, McAllum is trying to assert that cyber schools don't have certified educators. FALSE.

All cyber schools must meet the federal requirements for having at least 95% of their staff certified or highly qualified. It is rare that you will find schools with less than 100% of their educators certified. If you are looking at a cyber school without certified teachers, you should look elsewhere.

MYTH #3 - "We know we have qualified instruction," Tritle said. "We know we have qualified curriculum. We know we offer better programs than the for-profit schools..." Here, Tritle is, like McCallum, trying to assert that cyber schools do not have qualified instruction or curriculum. He is also saying that cybers are for-profit. FALSE, FALSE, and FALSE.

Cyber schools are public schools. They are non-profit. They must align their curriculum and instruction to state standards, and they are reviewed frequently by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Districts are starting cyber schools for one reason ONLY - money. Not because they believe in online education, not because they want to stay on the cutting edge, but because students are leaving their schools for cybers. They are trying to do it on the cheap, and with little knowledge of how to actually make it work.

You have choice in Pennsylvania. There are 12 cyber charter schools. You can learn more about them here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/http;//w...
Sobeit

Greencastle, PA

#7 Jun 6, 2011
This decision has nothing to do about education. It is about money and creating high paying job for the current establishment.

In this day and age and with the state of economy being what it is and will be for some time to come, no college is going to turn down any student who shows up with money in hand simply because s/he attended a cyberschool. That is pure bunk.

The current traditional school personnel have no background or experience in cybereducation and they are going to acquire it at the expense of the taxpayers and the students.

The taxpayer would be far better off it the school accept the subsidy for cyberstudents in their districts and left the education to someone who knows what they are doing.
TuscaSNOREa

Mercersburg, PA

#8 Jun 6, 2011
DOOPtastic.. thats a very good post and thanks for the info.
As a 15 year resident of the Tuscarora School District and father of two students, I have lost all hope for the public schools of our area. Money has corrupt our school administration and greed has exhaust any chance of our children coming out with even a slim chance.
This article seem to reflect that they are all about what it "looks like" to others, to a college, etc. rather than real benefits and advantages for the kids. The article clearly shows what a cheap plastic system we have.
I love my kids and it's well time to move on.
Sam kook

United States

#9 Jun 6, 2011
I learned just fine. I read I write I smart. What wrong with those credentials. I successful now and in charge of other people. My employees think I tha bomb
Just me

Chambersburg, PA

#10 Jun 6, 2011
TuscaSNOREa, you are very correct. The clowns who make up the administration of our school are only concerned about what it "looks like" and have been for a very long time. They have no interest in our children. Would like to know how to get rid of the whole bunch. Send them back to where ever they came from.
Taxed

Landisburg, PA

#11 Jun 6, 2011
Suggestion:

Let any parent/s who want to "send" their son or daughter to this school in the sky have their educational taxes reimbursed and then let them pay any and all fees necessary to enroll them in this "cyber school".

That way my tax money wil not have to go to this
"academy" which I totally disagree with.
isaidit

Williamsport, PA

#12 Jun 6, 2011
We are using Cyber Schools because we are unhappy with the local district. Moving to a more favorable location is not a viable option. Therefore, we have ended up in a virtual classroom and quite pleased.
Due Process

York, PA

#13 Jun 6, 2011
If we can have a joint county cyber program, why can't we just simply combine the school districts? Wouldn't that save money all around?
Wolfbane

Spring Grove, PA

#14 Jun 6, 2011
Cocooning students in a cyber school may not be the best way to prepare them for employment in a mortar and brick facility where they are expected to interact constantly with flesh and blood individuals, and be physically present there five days a week.
beavis

Chambersburg, PA

#15 Jun 6, 2011
We have a friend whose child is having some teenage issues, depression, etc. This child is behind in school, but I was told the schools no longer "hold" children back. They just move them ahead each year.

When I was in school, if you flunked a grade, you repeated a grade. I realize every child is an individual, but to just ignore the problem, and not try to work with the child, is a travesty.

Also, a cyber-school is only effective is the child does the work, just like a real school. If mom and dad work all day, who is home making sure the child does the work.

I have no answers, just frustration.
Mike Ford the Baker

Chambersburg, PA

#16 Jun 6, 2011
i home school
Sobeit

Greencastle, PA

#17 Jun 6, 2011
beavis wrote:
We have a friend whose child is having some teenage issues, depression, etc. This child is behind in school, but I was told the schools no longer "hold" children back. They just move them ahead each year.
When I was in school, if you flunked a grade, you repeated a grade. I realize every child is an individual, but to just ignore the problem, and not try to work with the child, is a travesty.
Also, a cyber-school is only effective is the child does the work, just like a real school. If mom and dad work all day, who is home making sure the child does the work.
I have no answers, just frustration.
Well, you have just told us that they do not have to be able to do the work in "real" school, either. The cyber school is supposed to do that too just as the real school. So what's the difference. You learn only when you want to--or more likely when you need to.
Sobeit

Greencastle, PA

#18 Jun 6, 2011
Wolfbane wrote:
Cocooning students in a cyber school may not be the best way to prepare them for employment in a mortar and brick facility where they are expected to interact constantly with flesh and blood individuals, and be physically present there five days a week.
But cocooning them in a mortar and brick facility where it is necessary to have a resident policeman and where they are surrounded by all manner of distraction is?
Parent of a student

Shippensburg, PA

#19 Jun 6, 2011
Can a student go to the Vo-Tech School if they are in cyber school? I would cyber school my Son if this were possible. He will take over the Family farm after school. He wants to take Ag. Mechanic so that he can work on his own equipment.
Check the facts

Greencastle, PA

#20 Jun 6, 2011
Hey DOOPtastic...does the military accept the students who graduate from an online program?? Nope...at least not without provisions.
Face it folks...cyber schools suck our money out of public education. If we have to pay for every kid that goes there but have no say in the teachers, curriculum, or education...I'd rather have these kids take a local online classes and be funded by our own teachers as opposed to sending them out elsewhere
Ginmu

Glenside, PA

#21 Jun 6, 2011
Blended Schools is a canned curriculum that teachers in the district will be using to provide courses. Teachers will be facilitating the course, not creating it. If students are only meeting with teachers occasionally (and not even their actual course teachers), then this isn't as hands-on and personal as this district is making it seem.

Districts across the state blame cyber charter and charter schools for their budget issues, when this is not the cause of their financial issues. Charter schools are only given the funds that the district is given by the state to educate the child. If the district is no longer educating the child, then why should they still get paid to do so? In turn, states were given back a portion of those funds even though they did not have the child in their schools. Now, the state is no longer providing that bonus reimbursement and everyone is blaming cybers and charters.

In turn, districts are throwing together cyber programs in order to avoid losing money. This is not a decision based on what is in the best interest of the students.

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