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Funding, Grants & Awards

Researchers Receive Grant for Study of Virtual Schools

Researchers from University of Michigan, Stanford and University of California, Davis have received a $1.6 million grant to conduct a three-year study of virtual schooling.

The researchers will examine data for both the Florida Virtual School — an online public school serving K-12 students in Florida — and Miami Dade County Public Schools from the 2003-04 through the 2013-14 school years, as well as data from surveys of teachers and students. The researchers will use the data to identify "how virtual schooling options affect students' course progression, academic achievement and teacher effectiveness," according to information from the University of Michigan.

"There are enormous gaps in the research literature on online schools," said Brian Jacob, professor of economics and education at the University of Michigan, in a prepared statement. "Policymakers have little evidence of whether online courses boost achievement, which types of students flourish and the conditions that promote positive student outcomes."

The results of the study are intended to help policymakers and educators understand how virtual schooling affects student achievement, which students are most likely to benefit from this method of education and how virtual schooling can be improved.

The grant was provided by the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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