SOURCE: e.Republic, Inc.

e.Republic, Inc.

November 16, 2009 16:02 ET

National Survey by e.Republic's Center for Digital Education Finds Substantial Increase in Online Education

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - An annual survey conducted by e.Republic's Center for Digital Education (CDE) to evaluate national online learning policy reveals significant growth in state support for implementation of online programs in K-12 education. This year's report shows 25 states now lead online statewide initiatives -- a dramatic increase from the 15 states driving programs only a year ago.

The report was underwritten by Blackboard Inc. and is an analysis of state policies supporting online learning opportunities for all students.

Forty-four state department of education officials self reported the status of online learning through interviews with CDE. Twenty-seven states have statewide online learning initiatives -- two states have statewide programs that are not led by the state itself. Four states have plans in place to implement online learning programs. CDE ranked states based on existing policies regarding online learning. The report is produced in an effort to inform elected officials about best practices to focus on to encourage transformation of academic environments.

For the second year in a row, CDE named Florida as the No. 1 state in online education for its robust and thriving virtual school, which boasts nearly 125,000 students and saw a 25 percent increase in attendance in the last year.

"Online learning remains one of the most powerful and transformative mediums for U.S. education," said Marina Leight, vice president of education at the Center for Digital Education. "This year's review of policy revealed some exciting changes among the states. We applaud the policymakers across the nation who are driving the creation of new programs, and commend the leaders with already-existing programs who continue to ensure online learning is a top priority."

The top ten states are:

1.   Florida
2.   South Carolina
3.   New Mexico
4.   Hawaii
5.   Michigan
6.   Louisiana
7.   Idaho
8.   Minnesota
9.   Oregon
10.  Arkansas

View the full list at http://www.convergemag.com/awards/online-learning/Online-Learning-2009.html.

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute providing education and industry leaders with decision support, research and educational services to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. Visit www.centerdigitaled.com.

The Center is a division of e.Republic, Inc., a national publishing, event and research company focused on information technology in the public sector. Visit www.erepublic.com.