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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Mar 16th 2017

Sramana Mitra: My question was slightly different, though. My question is what percentage of US schools have virtual advanced placement programs?

Cheryl Vedoe: I can’t tell you that off the top of my head. That’s not a data point that we track. I can tell you that we do have thousands of students who enroll in our online AP courses every year. They come from school districts around the country. We also have students from private schools. I can’t tell you what percentage of schools that is.

Sramana Mitra: What about for the remedial programs? What percentage of schools are using virtual technologies in school?

Cheryl Vedoe: I don’t know industry data on the total number but I think you would find that the vast majority of school districts around the country are using digital curriculum in one form or another to support students in credit recovery, remediation, and intervention programs. If you look at our own data, I can tell you that we currently over 30% of school districts have 10,000 or more students.

Sramana Mitra: So your program is rolled into over 30% of the school districts in the credit recovery programs?

Cheryl Vedoe: School districts that have over 10,000 students.

Sramana Mitra: From your point of view, what percentage of schools are you in from an advanced placement program point of view?

Cheryl Vedoe: That I honestly don’t know. For advanced placement, it’s about schools enrolling students in our virtual courses. We may have a school that has a student who wants to take an AP course this year but not next year. Very honestly, that’s not the data that we track.

Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about the middle. We were talking about the two extremes – high-performing students and the low-performing students. What’s happening with digital learning in the middle right now?

Cheryl Vedoe: A very good question. You’re right. What we have seen historically is that schools and districts are most likely to transition to using digital curriculum at those two ends of the spectrum, either to provide options for their high-achieving and accelerating students or to address the needs of their struggling students.

When I was talking about our transition to a new solution that provides more flexibility in terms of incorporating digital curriculum, that is where we’re starting to see more use of digital curriculum in the classroom serving those students who are in the middle. Those are still more traditional classrooms but those are still classrooms where the teachers have a goal of doing more to personalize learning for each student. We’re seeing that it evolves more slowly than the two ends of the spectrum.

Sramana Mitra: But you do have school districts that are adopting your technology for the middle as well?

Cheryl Vedoe: We do. We have our online comprehensive courses and we have a second solution which is the more flexible digital curriculum. Today only about 20% of the districts that are using our courses are using the flexible curriculum.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning
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