Wisconsin team’s work goes low-gravity

GRANTSBURG—A team of four middle school students from around Wisconsin will see their hard work soar when their experiment goes to the International Space Station (ISS) in June. The students, of the iForward School, are the first K-12 students from Wisconsin and members of the only online school ever to be selected to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP).

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Give parents the power to choose a school that fits their child's needs

The Iowa Senate has advanced SSB 3206: The Iowa Student Opportunity Act. This legislation would create an Education Savings Account (ESA) program here in Iowa.

ESAs are an effective tool to provide parents the power to choose the school, public or non-public, that they believe will best meet their child’s needs.

Opponents to an ESA program like to say school choice proposals will somehow damage the public school system. These claims are simply untrue.  School choice is not a zero-sum game: Iowa can have great public and non-public schools at the same time.

Read more here. 

This 16-Year-Old Started Her Own Hackathon for Girls in STEM

Catherine Yeo was three years old when she discovered Sudoku puzzles at the back of magazines and newspapers. She would compete against her mother to see who could fill in the empty cells fastest, often beating her speed. Soon enough she became hooked on recognizing patterns and solving problems, fueling an interest in math and technology. Now, when the 16-year-old from San Jose isn’t leading PixelHacks, a 24-hour hackathon geared towards female high school students, she’s using the intel she gleaned from an Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) scholarship to continue to change the world through tech.

Read more here. 

Elvrum: West Virginia’s Teacher Strike Held Kids Hostage to Union Demands. With More Walkouts Likely, School Choice Is More Important Than Ever

I know a thing or two about teachers union strikes. For three consecutive years, my son’s kindergarten, first-, and second-grade education was interrupted by strikes in our A-rated suburban Scranton, Pennsylvania, district. Every year, for days and weeks at a time, his schooling was completely cut off. One strike lasted several weeks, and the teachers returned to their classrooms only because they were ordered to by the court. Who knows how long the strike would have continued.

More here. 

OPINION: Virtual schools are successful and have faced unfair scrutiny

I am a high school English teacher for the South Carolina Virtual Charter School.  Our school is in its 10th year and is staffed by highly qualified, state-certified teachers, many with advanced degrees and/or National Board Certification. We are proudly considered a pioneer in virtual education. 

While the benefits and pros of virtual education outshine most skepticism, virtual schools have been the target of unfair comparison and expectations. The South Carolina Virtual Charter School currently experiences the same iniquitous scrutiny from the state charter school district who claims the school is “poor performing” and “failing.” This is untrue and the story of our school’s shining achievements and success must be shared. 

Continue reading here. 

Virtual school helps kids who can’t make it to classroom


Recently, I heard an educational speaker say, “If a school does not tell its story, someone else will.” These words rang true to me in light of the state charter school district’s charge that the S.C. Virtual Charter School is “poor performing” and “failing.”

Every charter school sets different goals, serves different populations and should not be measured with the same metrics as others. As a faculty member for almost eight years at our online public school and an educator in S.C. public schools for almost 43, I would like to share some of our story.

Read more here. 


Ten years ago today: we mobilized, we raised our voices, we petitioned our government, and we fought to save our schools!

We fought. We won. And now online public charter schools are an integral part of the education landscape in Wisconsin. 

Some of those early fighters are still fighting for us. Some of us just joined the effort recently. But we all stand on the shoulders of these parents and teachers and lawmakers, who on a bitterly cold day in 2008 brought the heat and made a difference!

Watch it here.

Online school is a life-changing gift for teen with heart defect

TWENTYNINE PALMS — Virtual education is the key to success for Israel Ruiz as he strives to overcome challenging health hurdles he has faced since birth.

Israel, 17, was born with a condition that caused the underdevelopment of part of his tiny heart. He had open-heart surgery at 4 days old, 6 months old and again at 3 years old, his parents said. He continues to need treatments and procedures annually, first at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and now at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. He has had a stent procedure to help the functioning of his heart.

More here. 

Madison Ballet high school student turns to virtual classes to pursue dreams

MADISON (WKOW)-- As Madison Ballet prepares for another Nutcracker season, some high schoolers are changing how they study, to deal with the demanding schedule.  

"I feel like it's given me a lot of maturity," Maurissa Powell said.  The 16-year-old started dancing at three and has made the necessary sacrifices to make it on stage.

"It's always been my passion, so I feel I would take performing in the Nutcracker any day over going to the prom," she chuckled, but she's dead serious.  Maurissa already has a tutu and that's where her head is.

"You kind of just have to train while you have the ability to, you have the youth and everything," she said.

Madison Ballet Assistant Ballet Master Rachelle Butler likes the Wisconsin Virtual Academy program that about 10% of her students use. 

Read more and see the video here.