Tue April 20, 2010

New Law Delays Evaluation of Online K-12 Schools

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on 2010-04-20 on an older version of KUNC.org.

The Colorado Department of Education says the 2009 Education Accountability Act will delay the its identification of the lowest performing K-12 cyber schools by four to five months. 

This update comes after the department sent four online schools corrective action letters in March and April of 2009. It then decided to hold the schools harmless, meaning the schools were not required to submit an official plan of action for improvement to the state. Rich Wenning is associate commissioner with the Colorado Department of Education. He says both online and brick and mortar schools will be rated by the new accountability system later this fall. 

"What we found we were about to do is potentially run schools twice through two different systems that could send two different signals," he says.

Wenning says this process will start in August, and both online and brick and mortar schools that require turnaround plans will be required to submit those in January of 2011. Meanwhile enrollment in online K-12 schools continues to grow in Colorado. Last year's full time student population increased by 12.5 percent compared to the previous year.