Lawmakers say virtual schools need accountability

Jul 16, 2013

Wyoming lawmakers are trying to make alternative virtual schools accountable for the students they serve.  Virtual schools are classes students can attend on-line.  One snag has been identified in Niobrara County where the local school district saw its graduation rate drop after a virtual school started in the area. Some lawmakers think that the Virtual School may have impacted the local district’s graduation rate.  House Education Committee Member Cathy Connolly of Laramie says they need to find a way to make virtual schools stand on their own.      

"So is it fair for example that it looks like a high school in Niobrara County is at the lowest end of graduation rates, when in fact all of the kids in the Virtual School who are of high school age are being included in that books and mortar school…that just doesn’t make sense," says Connolly.

But Connolly says she does favor alternative styles of learning.  House Education Chairman Matt Teeters agrees, but says they do need to be able to measure the accountability of alternative education.  He calls that a tricky issue.