LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent University of Arkansas evaluation of the Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA) found that students attending the online public charter school perform very well compared to nearly identical students in other Arkansas public schools.
The study found "very positive trends for ARVA" and highlighted five conclusions:
- ARVA students outperformed their comparison peers in math.
- ARVA students outperformed their comparison peers in literacy.
- The positive trends were apparent in nearly all grade cohorts.
- Economically disadvantaged students did particularly well at ARVA, outperforming their comparison peers in math and literacy. (Sixty-one percent of ARVA students are identified as economically disadvantaged).
- There were no statistically significant negative effects for ARVA students in the analyses conducted.
"With these proven and excellent academic results ARVA is proud to join the growing list of educational success stories that Arkansans can point to with pride," said Jerry Jones, Chairman of the ARVA Board of Directors and an executive at Acxiom Corporation. "These positive outcomes are a testament to our students, the commitment our parents make every day to their children's education, the dedication and skill of our teachers and administrators, and the quality of our curriculum and education programs. Our Board is pleased for ARVA to be recognized as school where students thrive and that Arkansas families have as an important educational option."
The study used a "nearest-neighbor" matching methodology where ARVA students are matched with two peer students from the same grade and resident school district, with nearly identical baseline test scores in math and literacy.
The independent evaluation was led by Marty Lueken and Gary Ritter of the University of Arkansas' College of Education and Health Professions, Department of Education Reform. It was conducted as part of the ARVA's charter renewal and was presented to the Arkansas Department of Education earlier this year. The complete evaluation can be found at www.k12.com/ARVA.
Arkansas Virtual Academy is an online public school, chartered by the Arkansas Department of Education, serving students across the state in grades K-8. ARVA students access individualized learning programs– online lessons and offline materials – and receive instruction, support and oversight from state-certified teachers. The school uses the curriculum and academic services provided by K12 Inc. ARVA is governed by an independent, nonprofit Board of Directors.
SOURCE Arkansas Virtual Academy