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Researchers Highlight Bleak Numbers from Online Charter School Study

desks in a classroom
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Researchers say some online charter school students lag behind their traditional school peers.

A coalition of researchers reports students at online charter schools are drastically lagging behind students at traditional public schools. 

The study says when it comes to math, a student enrolled in an online charter school is a full school year behind a student at a traditional public school. The numbers aren’t much better for reading either.

The coalition included researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford University and Mathematica Policy Research, a national education research group.

Robin Lake with the University of Washington said Ohio leaders can use this information for reform.

“To come up with some new policies that can address the legitimacy of some of these concerns out there on online charters without needlessly restricting growth for kids who can really benefit from this model,” said Lake.

In a statement, the Ohio eSchool Families and Friends Coalition criticized the report for using, in their words, “flawed and biased methodology.”