Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Education
00000177-6edd-df44-a377-6fff43070000WUNC's American Graduate Project is part of a nationwide public media conversation about the dropout crisis. We'll explore the issue through news reports, call-in programs and a forum produced with UNC-TV. Also as a part of this project we've partnered with the Durham Nativity School and YO: Durham to found the WUNC Youth Radio Club. These reports are part of American Graduate-Let’s Make it Happen!- a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and these generous funders: Project Funders:GlaxoSmithKlineThe Goodnight Educational FoundationJoseph M. Bryan Foundation State FarmThe Grable FoundationFarrington FoundationMore education stories from WUNC

NC Virtual Charter Schools See High Withdrawal Rates

As part of the 2013-14 state budget, the State Board of Education is required to study virtual charter schools and propose draft rules.
Ian Usher via Flickr
/

  UPDATED Jan. 11, 2016

Twenty percent of students who enrolled in the state's first virtual charter schools left before the end of the semester, according to a report from the state department of public instruction.

State Board of Education member Olivia Oxendine says she wants to find out why so many students are pulling out.

"We just need to know," Oxendine said. "The more we know, the more we can improve and strengthen and make it a better model."

The state's first online charter schools opened last fall as pilot programs. North Carolina Virtual Academy had around 1,800 students enroll for fall semester and Connections Academy had around 1,700. Each saw around 350 students withdraw in the first three months.

A November report from North Carolina Virtual Academy to the state board said 39 percent of its withdrawals were students who returned to homeschool. Other reasons the school gave for withdrawals included a preference for face-to-face learning, acceptance into other programs, changes in family situation, or the program being seen as "too rigorous" or "not a good fit."

North Carolina Connections Academy  principal Nathan Currie, said in an email sent to WUNC Friday, that according to its own calculations, its withdrawal rate is at 14 percent, with 9 out of 62 students having left for reasons counted as true withdrawals.

"I did not see the data prior to the meeting, but the data presented did not use the withdrawal rate calculation contained in the approved charter application," Currie wrote.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey said he isn't surprised the program is seeing such high withdrawal rates in its first year.

"Let's see as we go forward with the pilot as to what happens with those percentages," he said.

Online charter schools have been criticized for having high withdrawal rates in other states. A national study of online charters out of Stanford University showed on average 53 percent of students remain in online charters at least two years, and only 6 percent remain five.

Related Stories
More Stories