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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #11-75
October 3, 2011
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New
Web Tools for Online Education Programs and Schools

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today unveiled a new interactive California Directory of Online Schools and Programs. The Directory is designed to help people make more informed decisions about online kindergarten through grade twelve educational options throughout the state.

"The Internet has made a world of educational options available to students across California," said Torlakson. "But online learning is expanding rapidly. To help parents make informed decisions about the best online options for their children, we are offering our new California Directory of Online Schools and Programs."

Online education is teacher-led instruction that takes place over the Internet where the teacher and student are separated geographically. Students can receive personalized learning and specific, almost instant feedback in a digital environment.

Also debuting today along with the interactive Directory are two Web pages: "A Glossary of Terms Related to Online Education," which will help parents sort through the jargon and terminology of online learning, and "Frequently Asked Questions about Online Education in California" which will help answer some of the more common inquiries about e-learning.

The Directory is accessible by clicking on a map of California or is searchable by county. When users download a report, they would get a list of online programs and schools in the county they select. Each listing will tell the user whether the program or school is tracked by the California Department of Education, which grades are served, whether it is accredited, whether its courses meet the "a-g" subject requirements for admission to the University of California, enrollment information, curriculum and programs offered, and which counties are served by the school or program.

"These wonderful new resources will help bring our schools into the digital age which is appropriate considering California is the home of Silicon Valley," added Torlakson. "The new online directory fulfills part of the goals outlined in A Blueprint for Great Schools that call for the use of digital technology to support learning. While online learning will never replace teachers and the classroom, this is just one more tool we can use to help our children succeed."

The new Web resources were created in response to calls to the California Department of Education from the public about how to find online schools and programs that are legitimate. A fourth resource will be debuted in the fall that updates kindergarten through grade twelve online policies and practices. "The State of Online Education in California" report will summarize digital education research, outline current policy challenges, and provide models of online instruction.

To access the California Directory of Online Schools and Programs, "A Glossary of Terms Related to Online Education," and "Frequently Asked Questions about Online Education in California," please visit the California Department of Education’s Web site at Online Education Index - Taking Center Stage - Act II (TCSII). For A Blueprint for Great Schools, please visit A Blueprint For Great Schools - Initiatives & Programs.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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