Bucking Trends in Online Education
Louisiana’s largest and most innovative online school is in rare company. Students scored five points higher on last spring’s LEAP2025 statewide standardized tests, the opposite of the average statewide results, which plunged five points.
It put University View Academy in the top three percent of all schools for growth in students scoring mastery or advanced on the LEAP2025 test. “When implemented with fidelity, the online educational model can and will produce excellent results. At the end of the day, good teaching is good teaching. And great teachers using the right educational tools will produce positive academic results,” said University View Academy Superintendent Dr. Michelle Clayton.
Experts blamed the scores dropping across Louisiana on the COVID-19 pandemic since students lost two months of school in 2020, and the 2020-2021 school year turned primarily into online and remote learning. But, the scores from University View Academy show online learning can be successful. According to Dr. Clayton, “We are doing everything possible to ensure our students’ academic success. Our cohort graduation rate rose over 26 percent last year, and 25 students in our graduating class earned associates’ degrees. Online education can meet or exceed the standard brick and mortar experience when it is done right.” Plus, the school’s average ACT score was 19.5, higher than the state average of 18.7. It places UVA in the top 25 percent of schools on ACT performance. Testing in Louisiana was in late April and May of 2021, when almost 70 percent of students were in classrooms doing face-to-face learning. LEAP2025 measured what students in grades 3-12 know in math, English, science, and social studies. Average state scores rose by a percentage point or two in recent years.