Student enrollment patterns and achievement in Ohio’s online charter schools

June Ahn, Andrew J. McEachin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We utilize state data of nearly 1.7 million students in Ohio to study a specific sector of online education: K–12 schools that deliver most, if not all, education online, lack a brick-and-mortar presence, and enroll students full-time. First, we explore e-school enrollment patterns and how these patterns vary by student subgroups and geography. Second, we evaluate the impact of e-schools on students’ learning, comparing student outcomes in e-schools to outcomes in two other schooling types, traditional charter schools and traditional public schools. Our results show that students and families appear to self-segregate in stark ways where low-income, lower achieving White students are more likely to choose e-schools while low-income, lower achieving minority students are more likely to opt into the traditional charter school sector. Our results also show that students in e-schools are performing worse on standardized assessments than their peers in traditional charter and traditional public schools. We close with policy recommendations and areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


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