Colorado Families Continue Joining Cyberschool Ranks: 12.5% Student Growth

As Ed News Colorado reports today:

The number of full-time students attending online programs across the state grew 12.5 percent to 13,128, or the equivalent of the 19th largest school district in Colorado.

The remarkable point in the story is that 12.5 percent is the second-lowest rate of annual growth for Colorado public online programs in the last six years. Still, it’s gigantic compared to the state’s overall enrollment growth of 1.7 percent. Ed News Colorado points out one reason why the demand continues to grow:

The number of online students scoring proficient or advanced on state reading tests grew, from 51 to 54 percent in 2009, while the numbers scoring unsatisfactory declined from 20 to 16 percent.

Some online schools are even outperforming statewide averages in some areas.

Branson School Online, one of Colorado’s first online programs, had a higher percentage of students at grade level in reading, writing and science in 2009 than did brick-and-mortar schools statewide.

The tiny district in Las Animas County is serving 447 students from 82 other districts in its online school and 30 students from its own community in its traditional building.

Like with anything, parents need to be discriminating consumers of which online programs are most successful and which ones suit their children’s needs best. That’s one good reason to check out the online public school information on our School Choice for Kids website.

One final note: the Ed News story includes a picture of the Cooney kids. They’re the ones who visited my Education Policy Center friends in November and talked about life at the Colorado Virtual Academy on one of our iVoices podcasts. Their mom Lori also has a new blog with lots of information on online education that you also ought to visit.

I tell you, as long as I still get the chance to blog, cyberschooling might be the way to go for me, too!