Rob Darrow's Final Dissertation Defense - April 2010


Final Defense Presentation.handoutv2.doc: Online Charter Schools in California / School Statistics in California

Elluminate Recording: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/recording/playback/link/meeting.jnlp?suid=M.7ADFA5493EE8B39ADEFF555963619B

Presentation:



Title: A comparative study between online charter high schools and traditional high schools in California.
Research Questions
  1. Are there a disproportionate number of at-risk students attending online charter schools as compared to traditional high schools in California?
  2. Are at-risk students more successful in online charter high schools than in traditional high schools in California?

Abstract


This study compared students attending online charter schools with students attending traditional high schools in California to determine if at-risk students are more successful in online charter schools. There were 10 online charter high schools (grades 9-12) chosen that had operated for more than two years. A random sample of 10 traditional high schools were chosen to compare results based on the percentage of free and reduced lunch students in the online charter schools, an indicator of at-risk students. Pearson’s chi-square was used to determine significance. Analysis revealed that the number of students attending online charter schools increased yearly by more than 80 percent between 2006 and 2009 in California and represents less than one percent of the total high school enrollment. Further analysis revealed that the percentage of students who scored proficient or above on the California Standards English Language Arts test was similar in both online charter and traditional high schools, and the number of students who drop out of high school was greater in online charter schools than in traditional high schools. Although chi-square results did show significance in sampling, there is not enough data to suggest that at-risk students are being more successful in online charter schools at this time.