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admin | Category: Ed Treatment Exercise | 27.02.2016
Advocates for virtual education say that it has the power to transform an archaic K–12 system of schooling. Virtual education is in a period of rapid growth, as school districts, for-profit providers, and nonprofit start-ups all move into the online learning world. At present, virtual education lacks a firm understanding of what high performance looks like. But the wide range of education options within charter schooling makes “owning” quality difficult, and the variety is even greater for virtual education. Even with outcome measures established, it’s unwise to assume that providers, be they districts, charter schools, or private companies, will collect data and conduct research on their own. Watson cautions, however, that reliance on a few time-consuming megastudies would be a mistake. Once providers develop quality measures and relevant data exist, one or more independent entities must be charged with deciding which providers can enter the marketplace and holding them accountable for student outcomes. The first system of grading charter laws rewarded states for easy access to charters but put little emphasis on quality control over new and existing schools.
But current charter-school authorizing methods, which focus on an entire school, are not adequate for supplemental or blended virtual-learning providers.
Virtual education has the potential to operate in a more nimble and responsive market than charter schools. State policies, such as whether the choice to attend a virtual class (and receive access to the funding for that class) resides with the student or the district, can have a tremendous impact on access to virtual learning. The large differences in growth among state-run supplemental virtual school programs illustrate the importance of policies related to funding and access. Most state-run virtual schools are not included in state funding formulas and are instead funded by an annual legislative appropriation. Another challenge to the development of fair and workable funding systems for virtual schooling is one that is endemic to public education in general: the inability to accurately measure cost-effectiveness.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former West Virginia governor Bob Wise are leading a new advocacy effort known as the Digital Learning Council. The Digital Learning Council recommends that states eliminate restrictions on student access to virtual education, allow students to choose among multiple learning providers, call for removal of seat-time requirements, and judge schools on results rather than inputs such as class size. But while the recommendations accurately identify the barriers that constrain virtual education, they are light on details for ensuring that innovation actually leads to more high-quality educational options.
Finally, there is nothing magical that ensures either charter schools or virtual education will be innovative and different. One big difference between charter schools and virtual education is that by definition, charter schools sit outside of the traditional district system. The danger is that despite the dramatically different delivery model, virtual education will end up much the same—with no better outcomes than our current system. Much like the achievements of an older sibling, the charter school movement’s successes and mistakes have a lot to teach virtual schooling about bringing change to public education. Erin Dillon is a senior policy analyst and Bill Tucker is managing director at Education Sector. There is an ongoing myth that Pennsylvania underfunds public schools because our "state share" is low. As James noted in a recent post, Pennsylvania spends more than the rest of the country in high poverty and low poverty districts. I'll have more to say about this subject, and the implications for spending increases and tax shifting tomorrow. Participants at EUA’s first Funding Forum were given a preview of the association’s new update report of the Public Funding Observatory. The full report, published today, confirms that while the impact of the crisis on national systems varies widely across Europe, no national higher education system has been left completely unaffected. The analysis shows that a number of countries mainly in the south and east of Europe, some of which already have lower overall public investment levels in higher education, have made major or substantial cuts in higher education budgets since 2008.
The report points out that this situation is unsustainable both for the affected countries and Europe as a whole. This trend could also risk provoking a ‘brain drain’ of talented researchers from these countries and could make it harder for universities in these countries to participate in European funding programmes which work under the principle of co-funding (i.e. During the Forum, EUA insisted that European funding programmes take these risks into account and allow participants to claim reimbursement on the basis of the full costs of their activities, notably in Horizon 2020, successor to the EU’s 7th framework programme for research.
In the context of the current economic climate, EUA maintains that stable, sufficient and flexible public funding for higher education and research is crucial to ensure Europe’s future as a dynamic competitive global region. EUA also reaffirms that funding of higher education should not be seen by European governments as expenditure but as an investment for Europe's future, and that increased investment in higher education and research is a way to help European countries out of the economic crisis.
Funding for international students is a critical factor for any student looking to receive a degree or certification overseas. The Institute of International Education publishes an annual report monitoring data on international students in the US called the Open Doors Report. The initial budgeting stage for your education overseas is to know what expenses you can expect.
It is important for international students to apply for scholarships and grants to reduce their personal expenses. Once you have maximized your scholarships and grants, you may consider looking for a loan for international students. Student loans can assist you in supporting the many costs that you may incur as an international student. One thing to keep in mind is that unfortunately those net price calculators don’t work for international students. I’m a registered studnet at walden university, baltimore for a PhD in health care administration.
I am an international student from Rwanda.I have been admitted for Undergraduate program int the AIU (Atlantic International University)for Online studies,but I can not sponsor myself for this program .is there any possibility of me applying for funding for this program? Harelimana and Fofie, I have sent you each an email regarding further information on international student loans. The report, by the higher education think tank million+, attempts to calculate all the knock-on impacts of allowing universities in England to charge up to ?9,000 a year in tuition fees, a change which has proven extremely controversial ever since it was first announced. As they imply through the report’s title, Are the changes to higher education funding in England cost-effective?, their argument is that the broader costs to the British economy will outweigh any direct savings which the policy might achieve.
They argue that the total cost of the changes to higher education funding will be over ?7 billion, although this needs to be interpreted carefully as many of the costs rely on assumptions about graduates receiving lower earnings, and the government eventually witnessing a reduction in the size of its tax base because of there being fewer graduates if the higher costs put people off attending university. While these may turn out to be consequences of the funding changes in the long term, nobody can predict the future, so we can’t say for certain how much these impacts will be felt. However, the far more dramatic figures in the report concern the inflationary impacts of the funding changes, an element of the reforms which Dr Andrew McGettigan drew attention to in his report for IF on the changes to tuition fees which launched last May (False Accounting? Million+ have taken their modelling of the inflationary impacts further than anyone else seems to have done before, arguing that they will affect prices in all sorts of other areas which are linked to CPI and RPI.

Consumers will also be hit with increases in certain expenses which are inflation-adjusted, such as regulated rail fares and water bills which are linked to RPI or CPI . Our monthly newsletter is the go to source for most engaging stories and education related news! Instead of blackboards, schoolhouses, and a six-hour school day, interactive technology will personalize learning to meet each student’s needs, ensure all students have access to quality teaching, extend learning opportunities to all hours of the day and all days of the week, and innovate and improve over time. The situation is not unlike that faced by the charter school movement just a few years ago. Virtual public education can be delivered by all types of providers, including charter schools, for-profit companies, universities, state entities, and school districts.
While the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has published program quality standards, virtual education lacks a commonly accepted set of quality outcome measures.
Unless providers rise to this task, outside groups, whether supporters or opponents, will define success and the lack of it for them. States and districts, through their rapidly evolving data systems, must gather information about virtual course enrollments, demographics, and performance, and encourage further research into determining successful programs and practices. He fears that with districts everywhere experimenting with multiple forms of virtual learning, from online credit recovery to blended learning classes, three years from now we’ll still have little to no information as to what actually works in a systemic way. Not only are there a limited number of questions that can be answered in this manner, but perhaps more importantly, the field is moving so quickly that the practices studied may already be outdated before the results are known.
An independent entity, whether it’s an authorizer, district, or state, needs to ensure that competition rewards high quality, not just low cost or easy access. And unlike place-based charter schools, virtual learning allows these choices to be unbound by geographic constraints.
Sixteen-year-olds do not always make the best decisions, and parents have many different motives for choosing a virtual provider.
Nor is accreditation (until the NCAA halted the practice, fully accredited BYU Independent Study was known to college sports fans as the place where football player Michael Oher, profiled in the movie The Blind Side, and others went to quickly raise grades to become eligible for college athletics). Without the large up-front costs associated with brick-and-mortar schools and the long lag time for determining school success, the virtual education market may not need as many limits on new entrants. It is essential that state laws be clearly thought through from the beginning, something that never happened in the pell-mell rush to enact charter school legislation. Figure 1 shows that population does not drive the enrollment differences among state-run virtual schools. While start-up appropriations make sense—especially when they help to ease fears of competition for funds with traditional schools—eventually, these static funding sources, which bear no relation to the demand or quality of the virtual school offerings, artificially limit access to and therefore demand for online courses. Its funding model, in which funds follow the student, taken together with the state’s strong choice policies (a student’s full-time school may not deny access to courses offered by FLVS), enable the school to grow. Since virtual schooling operates on a very different cost model—few facilities costs, higher technology costs, greater scale—states are struggling to determine the proper per-student funding level for both virtual courses and schools. The council recently published a set of state policy recommendations as part of an initiative to spur further growth not only in virtual learning, but also in the use of digital and multimedia content. Taken together, the recommendations would enable all students to access virtual education and end many of the regulatory restraints that stifle the development of innovative options. They suggest, for example, that states evaluate “the quality of content and courses predominately based on student learning data,” yet provide few details on how to accomplish this difficult task. But, as the nation’s charter schooling experience demonstrates, policymakers must confront the difficult issue of quality at the same time as they seek new and innovative approaches to schooling. Each provides the opportunity for something new and potentially powerful: charters through a new governance model, virtual learning through a new instructional model. While many of the first wave of virtual education providers—charter schools, state virtual schools, consortia of schools—incorporated both a different instructional and a different governance model, increasingly, districts are creating and managing their own virtual learning programs. In an effort to ease concerns about online education from districts, teachers, and parents, providers will be tempted to minimize disruptions to the traditional schoolhouse model, promising that “you won’t need to change a thing.” But simply putting the same curriculum online is unlikely to result in higher-quality learning. Invest in good data and research, avoid bad bargains, and give students choices but don’t rely on markets alone to monitor quality are all important lessons from nearly 20 years of charter schooling.
In Pennsylvania, gross local spending is extremely high, while gross state spending is right at the national average. At $8,474, Pennsylvania ranks 7th in local revenue per student, $3,000 more than then national average. The latest in a series of updates on the impact of the economic crisis on public higher education funding includes for the first time a full overview of developments over the period 2008-2012. EUA believes that this poses the risk of creating deep divisions across Europe (in terms of higher education funding), as some countries that already had higher-than-average GDP expenditure on higher education have maintained or increased funding to universities over the period. Reduced investment weakens countries’ research capacities and knowledge base, and impacts negatively on the development of their knowledge economy.
While many students hope for a full scholarship supported by their college or university, this can be a challenge. This publication, released last month, confirmed that funding remained consistent over last year with relatively minor fluctuations. Be aware of programs, dates, and eligibility requirements, and add them to your calendar to stay on top of those awards that are distributed by your school. For additional financial assistance, you may need to apply for an international student loan. If you have a US co-signer, you may be eligible for a US-backed loan that can help you support your education overseas. If you are looking for scholarships to help finance your education while in Maryland, try searching on International Scholarships which has a comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs. I have been admitted for Masters programme into the Atlantic International University for online studies.I can not sponsor myself for this programme.Is there any possibility of me applying for funding for this programme? That’s the lesson of the coalition government’s changes to higher education funding, which will have a remarkably large impact on many other parts of the economy because of their unintended consequences. Some of this will be to the government’s benefit, as they will profit from increased revenue from, for example,  alcohol and cigarette duties and second-class postage stamps (which are all index-linked) and the overall “fiscal drag” impact on taxation. Clearly, the inflationary impacts of increased tuition fees do not seem to have been fully thought through before the government launched this policy, and as a result they look to set to reverberate throughout the rest of the economy. The real question is how to maintain a thriving, efficient higher education system which is good for students, good for universities and good for the taxpayer. Indeed, virtual education has the potential not only to help solve many of the most pressing issues in K–12 education, but to do so in a cost-effective manner. Real accountability, including the means to identify and end ineffective practices and programs, must be constantly balanced with the time required to refine new, immature technologies and approaches to learning. In 2005, after a decade of rapid growth in the charter school sector, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) was formed to increase the availability of high-quality charter schools.
Types of online schools and programs range from state-run programs like Florida Virtual School, where each year 100,000 students take one or two courses online as a supplement to traditional schools, to “blended” models, which allow schools to combine online and classroom-based instruction.
Quality can’t be defined by the design of a school or by inputs alone; instead, it must focus primarily on outcomes.

Instead, he notes, it’s much more important to develop systems to track quality and collect existing information, such as course participation, grades, and assessment results, in a manner that can help monitor student outcomes and practices at the course level.
A student in rural Alabama can now look online for better instructional models, make up credits for missed or failed classes, or even access Mandarin Chinese courses.
Some may want an accelerated curriculum for a gifted student, others may be looking for more scheduling flexibility, and still others may just be interested in getting course credit quickly, regardless of quality or rigor.
A report released in 2010 by the NAPCS graded states not just on the opportunities for charter schooling to expand in the state, but also on the quality of charter school authorizing supported by the state law. And even in the case of virtual charter schools, authorizers are just now beginning to understand the unique qualities of virtual schools that change the nature of oversight, including these schools’ capacity to serve tens of thousands of students across wide geographic areas.
But for the market to yield innovation and high performance, providers need to be rewarded for successful student outcomes, not just enrollments, and an independent agency, whether it’s a charter-like authorizer, the school district, or the state, needs to be responsible for quickly shutting down low performers. The states with the most enrollments, Florida and North Carolina, both have funding tied to the state’s public-education funding formula. And since access and funding are scarce, there’s little capacity or incentive to develop new offerings. There are no barriers to enrollment and funding is not capped at a preset amount, providing FLVS with an incentive to be responsive to demand, rapidly increase course offerings, and even experiment with new game-like learning experiences (see “Florida’s Online Option,” features, summer 2009). Without a means to determine value—how additional dollars spent affect student outcomes—states default to either the standard per-pupil funding, or increasingly, decide that virtual schools should cost less and choose an arbitrary funding level. Likewise, recommendations for “Quality Providers” focus heavily on the removal of barriers to competition, but offer little discussion of how to enact the recommendation for “a strong system of oversight and quality control.” Too often, the recommendations assume that quality will naturally result from regulatory relief.
The integration of virtual education into traditional school districts allows for the instructional model change to be incorporated into a system without a change in the district governance model.
And this approach undercuts the potential of online education to do many of the things it promises: to provide a more personalized and responsive education than the traditional lecture format, to allow students to proceed at their own pace, and to give teachers a new way to teach. If the virtual education movement heeds these lessons, it has the potential to see even more rapid growth across the country than charter schools and—more importantly— to enhance how students learn. Indeed, our total revenue per student ranks 10th in the country, at more than $15,100 per student—again, $3,000 more than then national average.
In addition, diverging investment trends decrease the potential for cross-border academic and scientific cooperation and put the completion of the European Higher Education and Research Areas at risk. Housing, food, tuition, and books are just a few of the necessary expenses students will need to consider when they budget for their education.
In fact, only 23% of international students in the US cover the majority of their expenses with assistance from their college or university.
This tool will outline tuition and associated fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation, grant aid, etc. Funding for international students can also be found through your home country as well as non-profit organizations or third parties. While funding for international students can vary, this may be a helpful alternative for students looking for financial assistance from a US bank.
However, these will be more than offset by increases in the interest the government has to pay on its debt (equal to ?655 million in the first year of the new fees regime alone), as well as the inflation adjustment for both public sector pensions and state pensions. More than 1 million public-education students now take online courses, and as more districts and states initiate and expand online offerings, the numbers continue to grow. Both virtual education advocates and education policymakers should learn from nearly two decades of experience with charter schooling, another reform movement predicated on innovation and change within public education.
NAPCS soon published “Renewing the Compact,” a statement by its Task Force on Charter School Quality and Accountability.
The most controversial virtual schools are so-called “cyber” charter schools—fully online public schools that students “attend” on a full-time basis. Traditional measures, such as attendance and instructional contact hours, do not fit the virtual model. Less than two years after publishing “Renewing the Compact,” the NAPCS, in partnership with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, which was established in 2004 to push for more professionalism and higher standards among authorizers across the country, convened a working panel on charter school quality with the goal of establishing a “common set of basic quality expectations and performance measures” to assess charter school success. To be useful, research needs to be specific as to “what works for whom, what implementation practices matter, and why,” says Marianne Bakia, senior education researcher at SRI International and one of the authors of the Department of Education study. And better data on the impact of curriculum, instructional materials, and teaching practices would benefit all of education, not just virtual learning. These bad bargains underfunded schools, limited their ability to be autonomous and innovative, and allowed districts to create “charters-in-name-only.” The same pattern is emerging in virtual education, where legislation that purports to spur virtual education, such as that in Massachusetts, creates unnecessary geographic restrictions or enrollment caps, or sets funding levels well below what traditional schools receive.
In contrast, Kentucky’s state virtual school, despite its more than 10 years in operation, struggles to grow. More spurious are the attempts to audit providers and pay only for the “true costs” of virtual education, eliminating any incentive for productivity gains.
This is the largest external source of funding for international students (excluding self and family funding) – see the graph below that reflects funding for foreign students in the US. In the 2010-2011 academic year 63% percent of international students primary funding for international students was by personal and family funds. Keep in mind that the tool was developed for US students so results may vary for international students, however this can be a good start! You can use resources like International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) and International Scholarships to begin researching your overseas funding.
But to date, there’s little research or publicly available data on the outcomes from K–12 online learning. After nearly 20 years of practice, the charter school movement provides important lessons on how to ensure that improved student outcomes remain the top priority. Funded with public dollars but independently run, many of these cyber schools are managed by private, for-profit companies such as K12 and Connections Academy. And while federal and state accountability systems, which focus on school-level accountability, provide data on and oversight of the performance of full-time cyber schools, there’s little data and few mechanisms for evaluating supplemental and blended programs, in which students take only a portion of their schooling online. Without these measures, the panel noted, “it is no wonder that judgments about the performance of charter schools are so frequently ill-informed.” The result of the working panel was “A Framework for Academic Quality,” which provides a list of indicators, such as student achievement levels and growth measures, to which schools should be held accountable, metrics that can be used to assess school performance. The school charges course fees, requires students to get district permission prior to enrollment, and is funded on a small annual appropriation rather than based on demand. And even when data are publicly available, as is the case with virtual charter schools, analysts and education officials have paid scant attention to—and have few tools for analyzing—performance. Moreover, it’s the supplemental and blended courses, increasingly offered by school districts, where growth is likely to be fastest. Until policymakers, educators, and advocates pay as much attention to quality as they do to expansion, virtual education will not be ready for a lead role in education reform. And more importantly, they provide few incentives for providers to fund the research and development necessary to perfect new technologies, student support systems, and innovative methods to effectively serve more costly, at-risk student populations.

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