Turnover common at e-schools

Ohio’s largest online charter school averaged 14,600 students last school year, but almost 23,000 students were enrolled over the course of the year.

Thousands of those students enrolled for just a few weeks or months in the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

The large-scale turnover isn’t unique to ECOT: With the exception of schools designed for dropouts, no schools churn through students like Ohio’s online charters. At many of Ohio’s charter e-schools, more than 40 percent of students leave before they’ve completed a full academic year.

Churn, or student mobility, has long been “generally considered a negative thing” facing education, said Aaron Churchill, research director for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Columbus. It can disrupt students’ learning routines and is generally associated with low achievement, he said.

(Read more at the Dispatch)