There are 72 ways to divide us or unite us in our quest to provide rich learning experiences to every student using online and blended learning. That, at least, is the determination made by Digital Learning Now in their state report card reports published last week. I’m a firm & devoted proponent of DLN and of the online course revolution. However, I’m confused by several of the 72 data points and I’d advocate that several, if not many, should not be on their list. Another blog post will detail California’s falling grade, the many “partial” scores that lowered our total, and the criteria I find to be unreasonable.
When the DLN report cards were published, CLRN created a spreadsheet showing the totals for all 50 states in the 10 DLN categories. You may find it here.
Today, I’d like to share our database showing all 72 data points for all 50 states. You’ll find it here.
While there are 72 data points, the highest score by any state was 49, shared by Utah and Wyoming. If we weren’t grading on a curve, both #1s would have 68% on our test, earning “D” grades. However, given that this is a new test, one might ask if all the questions are valid, if some are more important that others, if there was a rubric indicating what is required to meet each point, or if the tests are fairly graded.
Are all points equal? Are some points more critical to promoting online & blended learning? Are some points arbitrary or politically motivated? Well, let’s see. We created this spreadsheet to determine which points all states had in common, which elements are shared by a critical mass, and which expectations that few states have enacted.
Let’s start with what we have in common. Four policies are shared by all 50 states (1, 35, 58 & 59).
- (1) Under state law, district public school students are eligible for publicly-funded digital learning.
- (35) State law requires digital content to be aligned with state standards or Common Core State Standards.
- (58) Under state law, data on student learning is used to evaluate the quality of schools.
- (59) State law requires poor performing schools, determined by student learning data, to be closed.
Six additional policies are shared by 40 or more states. (2, 5, 26, 43, 49 & 50)
- (2) Under state law, charter public school students are eligible for publicly-funded digital learning.
- (5) State law ensures publicly-funded digital learning is available for all high school students.
- (26) Under state law, students may enroll in both individual online courses and traditional face-to-face brick-and-mortar schools.
- (43) State law or practice allows statewide authorizers for digital providers, including virtual charter schools and individual online course providers.
- (49) State has public options for digital learning, including content, individual online courses and virtual and blended brick-and-mortar schools.
- (50) State offers not-for-profit options for digital learning, including content, individual online courses and virtual and blended brick-and-mortar schools.
On the other end, no states have implemented four of the policies. While these may be good ideas, these entail cost requirements that are prohibitive at this time.
- (67) State law requires a majority of content, such as textbooks, to be provided digitally.
- (69) State law requires all teachers to be provided with Internet access devices.
- (70) State law requires all students to have Internet access devices.
- (72) State has implemented all of the Data Quality Campaign’s 10 State Actions to Ensure an Effective Data Use.
Seven elements have been implemented by five or fewer states. The elements and the number of states who have applied them are listed below.
- (64) Under state law, students may enroll in an unlimited number of individual online courses. (1 state)
- (61) State law requires poor performing individual course providers, determined by student learning data, to be closed. (2 states)
- (38) State law requires data on student learning to be considered when recertifying teachers. (2 states)
- (8) State law requires students to complete at least one online course to earn a high school diploma. (2 states)
- (41) Under state law, data on student learning is used to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers. (3 states)
- (32) State law requires students to demonstrate competency on a standardized end-of-course exam to earn credit for a course. (3 states)
- (60) Under state law, data on student learning is used to evaluate the quality of individual online courses. (4 states)
My questions about the validity of some of the data points and the bar California was expected to pass for each will be the subject of my next post. In the meantime, what do you find interesting in the data?